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CHARLES AUCHESTER 



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CHARLES AUCHESTER 

Volume I. 



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Charles Auchester 



BY 



EUZABETH SHEPPARD 



WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES 



By GEORGE P. UPTON 

ArTHos or "thb staxdakd opntAS,** ''standard osatomos,** '*staxdaxd 

CAJfTATAS,** "staxdakd SYMPHOUflBS,*" **«OMA]f Of MUStC," BTC 



fn SiDO Uolitmcs 
Volume L 




CHICAGO 

A. C. McCLURG & CO, 

1900 



Copyright, 

By a. C. McClurg and Co. 

A.D. 189X. 



INTRODUCTION. 



THE romance of " Charles Auchester," which is really 
a memorial to Mendelssohn, the composer, was first 
published in England in 1853. The titlepage bore the 
name of **E. Berger," a French pseudonym, which for 
some time served to conceal the identity of the author. 
Its motto was a sentence from one of Disraeli's novels : 
" Were it not for Music, we might in these days say, 
The Beautiful is dead.** The dedication was also to the 
same distinguished writer, and ran thus : " To the author 
of * Contarini Fleming,* whose perfect genius suggested 
this imperfect history." To this flattering dedication, Mr. 
Disraeli replied in a note to the author ; " No greater 
book will ever be written upon music, and it will one day 
be recognized as the imaginative classic of that divine 
art." 

Rarely has a book had a more propitious introduction to 
the public ; but it was destined to encounter the proverbial 
fickleness of that public. The author was not without 
honor save in her own country. It was reserved for 
America first to recognize her genius. Thence her fame 
travelled back to her own home ; but an early death pre- 
vented her from enjoying the fruits of her enthusiastic 
toil. Other works followed from her busy pen, among 
them " Counterparts," — a musico-philosophical romance, 
dedicated to Mrs. Disraeli, which had a certain success ; 
•* Rumor," of which Beethoven, under the name of Rodo- 



6 INTRODUCTIOy, 

mant, is supposed to have been the hero ; " Beatrice Rey- 
nolds," " The Double Coronet," and " Almost a Heroine : ^ 
but none of them achieved the popularity which " Charles 
Auchester" enjoyed. They shone only by the reflected 
light of this wonderful giri's first book. The republication 
of this romance will recall to its readers of an earlier gener- 
ation an old enthusiasm which may not be akogether lost, 
though they may smile as they read and remember. It 
should arouse a new enthusiasm in the younger generation 
of music-lovers. 

Elizabeth Sheppard, the author of " Charies Auchester,'* 
was bom at Blackheath, near London, in 1837. Her father 
was a clerg3rman of the Established Church, and her mother 
a Jewess by descent, — which serves to account for the 
daughter's strong Jewish S3rmpathies in this remarkable 
display of hero-worship. Left an orphan at a tender age, 
she was thrown upon her own resources, and chose school- 
teaching for her profession. She was evidently a good 
linguist and musician, for she taught music and the lan- 
guages before she was sixteen. She had decided literary 
ambition also, and wrote plays, poems, and short stories at 
an age when other children are usually engaged in pas- 
times. Notwithstanding the arduous nature of her work 
and her exceedingly delicate health, she devoted her leisure 
hours to Hterary composition. How this frail girl must 
have toiled is evidenced by the completion of •* Charles 
Auchester "in her sixteenth year. In her seventeenth 
she had finished ** Counterparts,"— a work based upon a 
scheme even more ambitious than that of her first story. 
When it is considered that these two romances were written 
at odd moments of leisure intervening between hours of 
wearing toil in the school room, and that she was a mere 
child and very frail, it will be admitted that the history of 
literary effort hardly records a parallel case. Nature how- 
ever always exacts the penalty for such mental excesses. 
This little creature of ^spirit, fire, and dew" died oa 
March 13, 1862,, at the early age of twenty-five. 



INTRODUCTION, J 

Apart from its intrinsic merits as a musical romance, 
there are some features of " Charles Auchester " of more 
than ordinary interest It is well known that Seraphael, 
its leading character, is the author's ideal of Mendelssohn, 
and that the romance was intended to be a memorial 
of him. More thoroughly to appreciate the work, and 
not set It down as mere rhapsody, it must be remem- 
bered that Miss Sheppard wrote it in a period of Men- 
delssohn worship in England as ardent and wellnigh 
as imiversal as the Handel worship of the previous cen- 
tury had been. It was written in 1853. Mendelssohn had 
been dead but six years, and his name was still a household 
word in every English family. He was adored, not only 
for his musical genius, but also for his singular purity of 
character. He was personally as well known in England 
as any native composer. His Scotch Symphony and Heb- 
rides Overture attested his love of Scotch scenery. He 
had conducted concerts in the provinces ; he appeared at 
concerts in London in 1829 and in subsequent years, and 
was the idol of the drawing-rooms of that day. Some of his 
best works were written on commissions from the London 
Philharmonic Society. He conducted his "Lobgesang" 
at Birmingham in 1840, and he produced his Immortal 
"Elijah'* in the same town in 1846, — only a year before 
his death. There were numerous ties of regard, and even 
of affection, binding him to the English people. From a 
passing remark in the course of the romance, we learn that 
it opens about the year 1833, when Mendelssohn was in 
his prime ; and as it closes with his death, it thus covers 
a period of fourteen years, — the most brilliant and produc- 
tive part of his life. 

Curious critics of " Charles Auchester" have found close 
resemblances between its characters and other musicians. 
There is good reason to believe that Starwood Bumey 
was intended for Stemdale Bennett, not only from the 
resemblaiice of the names in sound and meaning, but also 
£rom many other events €Ottiiioa to eacb. It requires, 



( 



8 INTRODUCTION, 

however, some stretch of the imagination to believe that 
Charles Auchester was intended as a portrait of Joachim 
the violinist ; that Aronach, the teacher at the St. Cecilia 
School, was meant for Zelter; Clara Benette for Jenny 
Lind ; and Laura Lemark for Taglioni. It is altogether 
likely that the author in drawing these characters had the 
types in mind, and without intending to produce a parallel 
or to preserve anything like synchronism, invested them 
with some of the characteristics of the real persons, all of 
whom, it may be added, except Taglioni, were intimately 
associated with Mendelssohn- 
All this lends the charm of human interest to the book ; 
but, after all, it is the author's personality that invests it 
with its rare fascination. It would not bear searching 
literary criticism ; fortunately, no one has been so ungra- 
cious as to apply it. It is more to the purpose to remember 
that here is a young girl of exquisite refinement, rare intel- 
lectuality, and the most overwhelming enthusiasm, who has 
written herself into her work with all her girlish fancies, 
her great love for the art, her glowing imagination, and that 
rapturous devotion for the hero of her exalted world which 
is characteristic of her sex at sixteen. And in doing this 
she has pictured her dreams with most glowing colors, and 
told them with delicate naiveti 2Sidi exuberant passion. In 
a word, she has expressed the very spirit of music in lan- 
guage, and in a language so pure and adoring as to amount 
to worship. In Disraeli's words, it is " the imaginative i 
classic of the divine art." To those who have not lost I 
their early enthusiasms, this little book will come like the 
perfume of a flower, or some tone of a well-remembered 
voice, recalling the old days and reviving an old pleasure. 
To those who have lost such emotions, what is left but 
Lethe? 

In preparing the work for publication, I have added 
some brief notes, indicating the connection between the 
real and the ideal, and making the meaning of the text 
clearer to the general reader of to-day. Anything which 



INTRODUCTION. 9 

will throw light upon this charming romance should be 
welcome, and the more so that the gifted author has been 
strangely neglected both in musical and general biographi- 
cal dictionaries. It is to be hoped that an adequate sketch 
of her life may some day appear. 

George P. Upton. 

Chicago, 1891, 



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12 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

of Verulam, of Beethoven? Heaven send my own may 
not make me shudder first, and that in my attempt to 
recall, through a kind of artistic interlight, a few remem- 
bered lineaments, I be not self-condemned to blush for 
the spiritual craft whose first law only I had learned. 

I know how many notions grown persons entertain of 
their childhood as real, which are factitious, and founded 
upon elder experience, until they become confounded 
with it ; but I also feel that in great part we neglect our 
earliest impressions, as vague, which were the truest and 
best we ever had. I believe none can recall their child- 
ish estimate or essence without identifying within their 
present intimate selves. In my own case the analogy is 
perfect between my conceptions then and my positive 
existence now. So every one must feel who is at all 
acquainted with the liabilities of those who follow art. 

The man of power may manage to merge his individ- 
uality in his expansive association with the individuality 
of others ; the man of science quenches self-conscious- 
ness in abstraction ; and not a few who follow with hot 
energy some worldly calling, become, in its exercise, as 
itself, nor for a solitary moment are left alone with their 
personality to remember even that as separate and dis- 
tinctly real. 

But all artists, whether acknowledged or amateur, must 
have proved that, for themselves, the gauge of immor- 
tality, in life as in art, consists in their self-acquaintance, 
their self-reliance, their exact self-appreciation with ref- 
erence to their masters, their models, their one supreme 
ideal. 

I was bom in a city of England farthest from the sea, 
within whose liberties my grandfather and father had 
resided, acquiring at once a steady profit and an honor- 
able commercial fame. Never mind what they were, or 



FAMIL y PORTRAITS, 1 3 

in which street or square their stocked warehouses were 
planted, alluring the eyes and hearts of the pupils of 
Adam Smith. I remember the buildings well ; but my 
elder brother, the eldest of our family, was established 
there when I first recall them, and he was always there, 
residing on the premises. He was indeed very many years 
my senior, and I little knew him ; but he was a steady, 
excellent person, with a tolerable tenor voice and punc- 
tilious filial observances towards our admirable mother. 
My father was born in England ; but though his ances- 
tors were generally Saxon, an infusion of Norman blood 
had taken place in his family a generation or two behind 
him, and I always suspected that we owed to the old 
breeding of Claire Ren^e de Fontenelle some of our 
peculiarities and refinements ; though my father always 
maintained that they flowed directly from our mother. 
He was travelling for the house upon the Continent 
when he first found her out, embedded like a gem by 
a little German river ; and she left with him, unrepin- 
ingly, her still but romantic home, not again to revisit it. 
My mother must have been in her girlhood, as she 
was in her maturest years, a domestic presence of purity, 
kindliness, and home-heartedness ; she had been accus- 
tomed to every kind of household manoeuvre, and her 
needlework was something exquisite. From her Ger- 
man mother she inherited the quietness of which grace 
is bom, the prudence with which wisdom dwells, and 
many an attribute of virtue; but fi'om her father she 
inherited the right to name herself of Hebrew origin. 
Herein my chief glory lies ; and whatever enlightenment 
my destiny has boasted, streams fi'om that radiant point. 
I know that there are many who would as genuinely 
rejoice in descent fi-om Mahomet, fi-om Attila, or fi'om 
Robin Hood, as fix)m any of Israel's children; but I 



14 CHARLES AUC HESTER. 

claim the golden link in my genealogy as that which con- 
nects it with eternity and with all that in my faith is 
glorious.* 

My mother had lived in a certain seclusion for some 
years before I first began to realize ; for my father died 
before my first year's close. We still resided near the 
house of business, — not in it, for that was my brother's 
now, and Fred liad lately brought home a wife. But we 
were quite settled and at home in the house I first re- 
member, when it breaks, picture-like, on my dawning 
memory. I had three sisters : Clotilda was the oldest, 
and only a year younger than Fred. She was an extra- 
ordinarily clever person, though totally destitute of art or 
artistic yearnings. She had been educated unwontedly, 
and at least understood all that she had learned. Her 
favorite pursuits were reading, and comparing lexicons 
and analyses of different languages, and endeavoring to 
find common roots for all \ but she could and did work 
perfectly, write a fine, close hand, and very vigorously 
superintend the household in my mother's absence or 
indisposition. She had rather a queer face, like one of 
the Puritan visages in antique portraits ; but a very cheer- 
ful smile, and perfect composure of manner, — a great 
charm in mine eyes, O ye nymphs and graces 1 Milli- 
cent, three years younger, was a spirit of gentleness, — 
imperceptibly instructing me, she must be treated with a 
sort of awe. Her melancholy oval face and her pale 
eyelids showed more of the Hebrew than any of us 
excepting myself; only I was plain, and she remarkably 

1 The character of Charles Auchester is supposed to have 
been intended for a sketch of the violinist Joachim, whose talent 
was first recognized by Mendelssohn, and who studied for many 
years at Leipsic under that composer's influence, though bis own 
writings betray a strong leaning towards Schumann. 



HOUSEHOLD MUSIC, 15 

pleasing. Lydia, my youngest sister, was rather showy 
than brilliant, and rather bright than keen, — but not 
much of either ; and yet she was always kind to me, and 
I should have grieved to miss her round brown eyes at 
our breakfast-table, or her loud, ringing laugh upstairs 
from the kitchen ; for she had the pantry key. 

Both Millicent and Lydia played and sang, if not very 
powerfully, yet with superior taste. Millicent's notes, not 
many in number, were as the notes of a cooing dove. 
Before I was five years old I used to sit upon the old 
grand piano and watch their faces while they sang on 
Sunday evenings, — my mother in a tremulous soprano, 
with Fred's tenor, and the bass of a friend of his. This 
did not please me ; and here let me say that musical 
temperament as surely asserts itself in aversion to dis- 
cordant, or not pure, as in desire for sweet and true 
sounds. I am certain this is true. I was always happy 
when Millicent sang alone, or even when she and Lydia 
mixed their notes ; for both had an ear as accurate for 
tune and for time as can be found in England, or indeed 
in Germany. But oh ! I have writhed beneath the dron- 
ings of Hatchardson's bass, on quartet or chorale an 
audible blemish, and in a rare composition now and 
then, the distorting and distracting point on which I was 
morbidly obliged to fasten my attention. We had no 
other music, except a little of the same kind, not quite 
so good, from various members of families in the neigh- 
borhood professing to play or sing. But I will not 
dwell on those, for they are displaced by images more 
significant 

I can never recollect a time when I did not sing. I 
believe I sang before I spoke. Not that I possessed a 
voice of miraculous power, but that everything resolved 
itself into a species of inward rhythm, not responsive to 



1 6 CHARLES A UC HESTER. 

by words, but which passed into sound, tone, and meas- 
ure before I knew it was formed. Every sight as well as 
all that touched my ears produced this effect I could 
not watch the smoke ascending, nor the motions of the 
clouds, nor, subtler yet, the stars peeping through the 
vaulted twilight, without the framing and outpouring of 
exuberant emotion in strains so expressive to my own 
intelligence that it was entranced by them completely. 
I was a very ailing child for several years, and only the 
cares I received preserved me then ; but now I feel as if 
all healthfulness had been engendered by the mere vocal 
abstraction into which I was plunged a great part of 
every day. I had been used to hear music discussed, 
slightly, it is true, but always reverently, and I early 
learned there were those who followed that — the su- 
preme of art — in the very town we inhabited, — indeed, 
my sisters had taken lessons of a lady a pupil of de- 
menti ; but she had left for London before I knew my 
notes. 

Our piano had been a noble instrument, — one of the 
first and best that displaced the harpsichords of Kirk- 
man.^ Well worn, it had also been well used, and when 
deftly handled, had still some delights extricable. It 
stood in our drawing-room, a chamber of the red- 
brick house that held us, — rather the envy of our neigh- 
bors, for it had a beautiful ceiling, carved at the centre 
and in the comers with bunches and knots of lilies. It 
was a high and rather a large room. It was filled with 
old furniture, rather handsome and exquisitely kept, and 

* A family of eminent harpsichord-makers. Jacob, the founder 
of the business, went to London from Germany early in the last 
century, and died in 1778. The business has been continued 
through five generations, and is now conducted by Joseph Kirk- 
man in the same city. 



MY CHILDHOOD'S HOME, 1/ 

was a temple of awe to me, because I was not allowed 
to play there, and only sometimes to enter it, — as, for ex- 
ample, on Sundays, or when we had tea-parties, or when 
morning callers came and asked to see me ; and when- 
ever I did enter, I was not suffered to touch the rug with 
tny feet, nor to approach the sparkling steel of the fire- 
irons and fender nearer than its moss-like edge. Our 
drawing-room was, in fact, a curious confusion of Ger- 
man stiffness and English comfort ; but I did not know 
this then. 

We generally sat in the parlor looking towards the 
street and the square tower of an ancient church. The 
windows were draped with dark-blue moreen, and be- 
tween them stood my mother's dark-blue velvet chair, 
always covered with dark-blue cloth, except on Sunda)rs 
and on New Year's day and at the feast of Christmas. 

The dark-blue drugget covered a polished floor, 
whose slippery, uncovered margin beneath the wainscot 
has occasioned me many a tumble, though it always 
tempted me to slide when I found myself alone in the 
room. There were plenty of chairs in the parlor, and a 
few little tables, besides a large one in the centre, over 
which hung a dark-blue cover, with a border of glowing 
orange. I was fond of die high mantelshelf, whose orna- 
ments were a German model of a bad Haus, and two 
delicate wax nuns, to say nothing of the china candle- 
sticks, the black Berlin screens, and the bronze pastille- 
box. 

Of all things I gloried in the oak closets — one filled 
with books, the other with glass and china — on either 
side of the fireplace ; nor did I despise the blue cloth 
stools, beautifully embroidered by Clo, just after her 
sampler days, in wool oak-wreaths rich with acorns. I 
used to sit upon these alternately at my mother's feel^ 

VOL. I. — 2 



1 8 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

for she would not permit one to be used more than the 
other; and 1 was a very obedient infant. 

My greatest trial was going to church, because the 
singing was so wretchedly bad that it made my ears 
ache. Often I complained to my mother ; but she 
always said we could not help it if ignorant persons were 
employed to praise God, that it ought to make us more 
ready to stand up and sing, and answer our very best, 
and that none of us could praise him really as the angels 
do. This was not anything of an answer, but I per- 
sisted in questioning her, that I might see whether she 
ever caught a new idea upon the subject But no ; and 
thus I learned to lean upon my own opinion before I 
was eight years old, for I never went to church till I 
was seven. Clo thought that there should be no singing 
in church, — she had a dash of the Puritan in her creed ; 
but Lydia horrified my mother oftentimes by saying she 
should write to the organist about revising the choir. 
But here my childish wisdom crept in, and whispered to 
me that nothing could be done with such a battered, 
used-up, asthmatic machine as our decrepit organ, and 
I gave up the subject in despair. 

Still, Millicent charmed me one night by silencing 
Fred and Mr. Hatchardson when they were prosing of 
Stemhold and Hopkins, and Tate and Brady,^ and sing- 
ing-galleries and charity-children, by saying, — 

"You all forget that music is the highest gift that 
God bestows, and its faculty the greatest blessing. It 
must be the only form of worship for those who are 
musically endowed, — that is, if they employ it aright." 

Millicent had a meek manner of administering a 
wholesome truth which another would have pelted at 
the hearer ; but then Millicent spoke seldom, and never 
^ Compilers of English psalmody in the last century. 



EARL y EDUCA TION, 1 9 

unless it was necessary. She read, she practised, she 
made up mantles and caps d> ravir, and she visited poor 
sick people ; but still I knew she was not happy, though 
I could not conceive nor conjecture why. She did not 
teach me anything, and Lydia would have dreamed first 
of scaling Parnassus. But Clo's honorable ambition had 
always been to educate me ; and as she was really 
competent, my mother made no objection. I verily 
owe a great deal to her. She taught me to read 
English, French, and German between my eighth and 
tenth years; but then we all knew German in our 
cradles, as my mother had for us a nurse from her own 
land. Clo made me also spell by a clever system of her 
own, and she got me somehow into subtraction ; but I 
was a great concern to her in one respect, — 1 never got 
on with my writing. I believe she and my mother en- 
tertained some indefinite notion of my becoming, in due 
time, the junior partner of the firm. This prescience of 
theirs appalled me not, for I never intended to fulfil it, 
and I thought, justly enough, that there was plenty of 
time before me to undo their arrangements. I always 
went to my lessons in the parlor from nine till twelve, 
and again in the afternoon for an hour, so that I was 
not overworked ; but even when I was sitting by Clo, — 
she, glorious creature I deep in Ley den or Gesenius — 
I used to chant my geography or my Telemachus to my 
secret springs of song, without knowing how or why, but 
still chanting as my existence glided. 

I had tolerable walks in the town and about through 
the dusty lanes with my sisters or my nurse, for I was 
curious ; and, to a child, freshness is inspiration, and old 
sights seen afresh seem new. 

I liked of all things to go to the chemist's when my 
mother replenished her little medicine-chest There 



20 CHARLES AUC HESTER. 

was unction in the smell of the packeted, ticketed drugs, 
in the rosy cinnamon, the golden manna, the pungent 
vinegar, and the aromatic myrrh. How I delighted in 
the copper weights, the spirit-lamp, the ivory scales, the 
vast magazines of lozenges, and the delicate lip-salve 
cases, to say nothing of the glittering toilet bagatelles, 
and perfumes and soaps i I mention all this just be- 
cause the only taste that has ever become necessary to 
me in its cultivation, besides music, is chemistry, and 
I could almost say I know not which I adhere to most ; 
but Memory comes, — 

•* And with her flying finger sweeps my lip." . 

I forbear. 

I loved the factories, to some of which I had access. 
I used to think those wheels and whirring works so 
wonderful that they were like the inside of a man's 
brain. My notion was nothing pathetic of the pale boys 
and lank girls about, for they seemed merely stirring or 
moveless parts of the mechanism. I am afraid I shall 
be thought very unfeeling ; I am not aware that I was, 
nevertheless. 

I sometimes went out to tea in the town ; I did not 
like it, but I did it to please my mother. At one or 
two houses I was accustomed to a great impression of 
muffins, cake, and marmalade, with coffee and cream ; 
and the children I met there did nothing adequately but 
eat At a few houses, again, I fared better, for they 
only gave us little loaves of bread and little cups of tea, 
and we romped the evening long, and dramatized our 
elders and betters until the servants came for us. But 
I, at least, was always ready to go home, and glad to 
see my short, wide bed beside my mother's vast one, 
and my spotless dimity curtains with the lucid mushn 
frills^ and how often I sang the best tunes in my head 



BYGONE MEMORIES. 21 

to the nameless effect of rosemary and lavender that 
haunted my large white pillow ! 

We always went to bed, and breakfasted, very early, 
and I usually had an hour before nine wherein to dis- 
port myself as I chose. It was in these hours Millicent 
taught me to sing from notes and to discern the aspect 
of the key-board. Of the crowding associations, the 
teeming remembrances, just at infancy and early child- 
hood, I reject all, except such as it becomes positively 
necessary I should recall ; therefore I dwell not upon 
this phase of my life, delightful as it was, and stamped 
with perfect purity, — the reflex of an unperverted tem- 
perament and of kindly tenderness. 



CHAPTER II. 

"T X 7E had a town-hall, — a very imposing building of its 
^ ^ class, and it was not five minutes' walk from the 
square-towered church I mentioned. It was, I well 
knew, a focus of some excitement at election times and 
during the assizes, also in the spring, when religious 
meetings were held there ; yet I had never been in it, 
and seldom near it, — my mother preferring us to keep 
as clear of the town proper as possible. Yet I knew 
well where it stood, and I had an inkling now and then 
that music was to be heard there ; furtliermore, within 
my remembrance, Millicent and Lydia had been taken 
by Fred to hear Paganini within its precincts. I was 
too young to know anything of the triennial festival that 
distinguished our city as one of the most musical in 
England, at that time almost the only one, indeed, so 
honored and glorified. I said, what I must again repeat, 
that I knew nothing of such a prospective or past event 
until the end of the summer in which I entered my 
eleventh year. 

I was too slight for my health to be complete, but 
very strong for one so slight. Neither was I tall, but I 
had an innate love of grace and freedom, which gov- 
erned my motions ; for I was extremely active, could 
leap, spring, and run with the best, though I always 
hated walking. I believe I should have died under any 
other care than that expanded over me, for my mother 
abhorred the forcing system. Had I belonged to those 



EARL V RECOLLECTIONS. 23 

who advocate excessive early culture, my brain would, I 
believe, have burst, so continually was it teeming. But 
from my lengthy idleness alternating with moderate 
action, I had no strain upon my faculties. 

How perfectly I recollect the morning, early in au- 
tumn, on which the festival was first especially suggested 
to me ! It was a very bright day, but so chilly that we 
had a fire in the parlor grate, for we were all disposed 
to be very comfortable as part of our duty. I had said 
all my lessons, and was now sitting at the table writing 
a small text copy in a ruled book, with an outside 
marbled fantastically brown and blue, which book lay, 
not upon the cloth, of course, but upon an inclined 
plane formed of a great leather case containing about a 
quire of open blotting-paper. 

My sister Clotilda was over against me at the table, 
with the light shaded fi*om her eyes by a green fan 
screen, studying, as usual, in the morning hours, a Greek 
Testament full of very neat little black notes. I remem- 
ber her lead-colored gown, her rich washing silk, and 
her clear white apron, her crimson muffetees and short, 
close black mittens, her glossy hair rolled round her 
handsome tortoise-shell comb, and the bunch of rare 
though quaint ornaments — seals, keys, rings, and lockets, 
— that balanced her beautiful English watch. What a 
treasure they would have been for a modern chitelaine ! 
my father having presented her with the newest, and an 
antique aunt having willed her the rest She was very 
much like an old picture of a young person sitting there. 

For my part, I was usually industrious enough, 
because I was never persecuted with long tasks ; my 
attention was never stretched, as it were, upon a last, so 
that it was no meritonous achievement if I could bend 
it towards all that I undertook, with a species of elasti- 



24 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

city peculiar to the nervous temperament. My mother 
was also busy. She sat in her tall chair at the window, 
her eyes constantly drawn towards the street, but she 
never left off woridng, being deep in the knitting of an 
enormous black silk purse for Lydia to carry when she 
went to market. Miilicent was somewhere out of the 
room, and Lydia, having given orders for dinner, had 
gone out to walk. 

I had written about six lines in great trepidation — 
for writing usually fevered me a little, it was such an 
effort — when my great goose-quill slipped through my 
fingers, thin as they were, and I made a desperate 
plunge into an O. I exclaimed aloud, '^ Oh, what a 
blot ! " and my lady Mentor arose and came behind me. 

" Worse than a blot, Charles," she said, or something 
to that effect. " A blot might not have been your fault, 
but the page is very badly written ; I shall cut it out, 
and you had better begin another." 

" I shall only blot that, Clo," I answered ; and Clo 
appealed to my mother. 

" It is very strange, is it not, that Charles, who is very 
attentive generally, should be so little careful of his 
writing ? He will never suit the post of all others the 
most important he should suit." 

" What is that ? " I inquired so sharply that my mother 
grew dignified, and responded gravely, — 

" My dear Clotilda, it will displease me very much if 
Charles does not take pains in every point, as you are so 
kind as to instruct him. It is but little such a young 
brother can do to show his gratitude." 

" Mother ! " I cried, and sliding out of my chair, I 
ran to hers. " I shall never be able to write, — I mean 
neatly ; Clo may look over me if she likes, and she will 
know how hard I try." 



\ 



MY CHILDHOOiyS DIFFICULTIES, 2$ 

" But do you never mean to write, Charles ? " 

" I shall get to write somehow, I suppose, but I shall 
never write what you call a beautiful hand.*^ 

My mother took my fingers and laid them along her 
own, which were scarcely larger. 

" But your hands are very little less than mine ; surely 
they can hold a pen ? " 

" Oh, yes, I can hold anything ! " And then I laughed 
and said, " I could do something with my hands too." 
I was going to finish, " I could play ; " but Lydia had 
just turned the corner of the street, and my mother's 
eyes were watching her up to the door. So I stood be- 
fore her without finishing my explanation. She at length 
said, kindly, "Well, now go and write one charming 
copy, and then we will walk." 

I ran back to my table and climbed my chair, Clo 
having faithfully fulfilled her word and cut out the offend- 
ing leaf. 

But I had scarcely traced once, " Do not contradict 
your elders," before Lydia came in, flushed and glow- 
ing, with a basket upon her arm. She exhibited the 
contents to my mother, — who, I suppose, approved 
thereof, as she said they might be disposed of in the 
kitchen, — and then, with a sort of sigh, began, before 
she left the room, to remove her walking dress. 

" Oh ! it is hopeless ; the present price is a guinea.'^ 

" I was fearful it would be so, my dear girl," replied 
my mother, in a tone of mingled condolence and autho- 
rity she was fond of assuming. " It would be neither 
expedient nor fitting that I should allow you to go, 
though I very much wish it ; but should we suffer our- 
selves such an indulgence, we should have to deprive 
ourselves of comforts that are necessary to health, and 
thus to well being. I should not like dear Millicent 



26 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

and yourself, young as you are, to go alone to the 
crowded seats in the town-hall ; and if I went with you, 
we should be three guineas out of pocket for a month." 

This was true ; my mother's jointure was small, and 
though we lived in ease, it was by the exercise of an 
economy rigidly enforced and minutely developed. It 
was in my own place, indeed, I learned how truly happy 
does comfort render home, and how strictly comfort 
may be expressed by love from prudence, by charity 
from frugality, and by wit from very slender competence. 

" I do not complain, dear mother," Lydia resumed, 
in a livelier vein ; " I ventured to ask at the office be- 
cause you gave me leave, and Fred thought there would 
be back seats lowered in price, or perhaps a standing 
gallery, as there was at the last festival. But it seems 
the people in the gallery made so much uproar last 
time that the committee have resolved to give it up." 

This was getting away from the point, so I put in, " Is 
the festival to be soon, then, Lydia?" 

" Yes, dear ; it is only three weeks to-day to the first 
performance." 

''WiU it be very grand?" 

"Oh, yes; the finest and most complete we have 
ever had." 

Then Lydia, having quite recovered her cheerfulness, 
went to the door, and speedily was no more seen. No 
one spoke, and I went on with my copy ; but it was 
hard work for me to do so, for I was in a pricking pul- 
sation from head to foot. It must have been a physical 
prescience of mental excitement, for I had scarcely ever 
felt so much before. I was longing, nay, crazy, to 
finish my page, that I might run out and find Millicent, 
who, child as I was, I knew could tell me what I wanted 
to hear better than any one of them. My eagerness 



\ 



MY IMPATIENCE. 27 

impeded me, and I did not conclude it to CIo's genuine 
satisfaction after all. She dotted all my i's and crossed 
my t's, though with a condescending confession that I 
had taken pains, — and then I was suffered to go ; but 
it was walking time, and my mother dressed me herself 
in her room, so I could not catch MilUcent till we were 
fairly in the street. 



CHAPTER III. 

I DO not pretend to remember all the conversations 
verbatim which I have heard during my life, or in 
which I have taken a part ; still, there are many which 
I do remember word by word, and every word. My 
conversation that morning with Millicent I do not re- 
member, — its results blotted it out forever ; still, I am 
conscious it was an exposition of energy and enthusiasm, 
for hers kindled as she replied to my ardent inquiries, 
and, unknowingly, she inflamed my own. She gave me 
a tale of the orchestra, its fulness and its potency ; of 
the five hundred voices, of the conductor, and of the 
assembly ; she assured me that nothing could be at all 
like it, that we had no idea of its resources or its 
effects. 

She was melancholy, evidently, at first, but quite lost 
in her picturesque and passionate delineation, I all the 
while wondering how she could endure to exist and not 
be going. I felt in myself that it was not only a sorrow, 
but a shame, to live in the very place and not press into 
the courts of music. I adored music even then, — ay ! 
not less than now, when I write with the strong heart 
and brain of manhood. I thought how easily Millicent 
might do without a new hat, a new cloak, or live on 
bread and water for a year. But I was man enough 
even then, I am thankful to say, to recall almost on the 
instant that Millicent was a woman, a very delicate girl, 
too, and that it would never do for her to be crushed 



^ 



My PECUNIARY PLAN. 29 

among hundreds of moving men and women, nor for 
Fred to undertake the charge of more than one — he 
had bought a ticket for his wife. Then I returned to 
myself. 

From the first instant the slightest idea of the festival 
had been presented to me, I had seized upon it person- 
ally with the most perfect confidence. I had even de- 
termined how to go, — for go I felt I must ; and I knew if 
1 could manage to procure a ticket, Fred would take me 
in his hand, and my mother would allow me to be dis- 
posed of in the shadow of his coat-tails, he was always 
so careful of us all. As I walked homewards I fell si- 
lent, and with myself discussed my arrangements j they 
were charming. The town-hall was not distant from 
our house more than a quarter of a mile. I was often 
permitted to run little errands for my sisters : to match a 
silk or to post a letter. My pecuniary plan was unique : 
I was allowed twopence a week, to spend as I would, 
though Clo protested I should keep an account-book as 
soon as I had lived a dozen years. From my hatred of 
copper money I used to change it into silver as fast as 
possible, and at present I had five sixpences, and should 
have another by the end of another week« I was to take 
this treasure to the ticket ofiice, and request whatever 
gentleman presided to let me have a ticket for my pres- 
ent deposit, and trust — I felt a certain assurance that 
no one would refuse me, I know not why, who had to 
do with the management of musical affairs. I was to 
leave my sixpences with my name and address, and 
to call with future allowances until I had refunded alL 
It struck me that not many months must pass befiore this 
desirable end might accomplish itselfl 

I have often man^eDed why I was not alarmed, nerv- 
ous as I was, to venture alone into such a place, with 



30 CHARLES AUCH ESTER, 

such a purpose ; but I imagine I was just too ignorant, 
too infantine in my notions of business. At all events, 
I was more eager than anxious for the morrow, and only 
restless from excited hope. I never manoeuvred before, 
I have often manoeuvred since, but never quite so inno- 
cently, as I did to be sent on an errand the next morn- 
ing. It was very difficult, no one would want anything, 
and at last in despair I dexterously carried away a 
skein, or half a skein, of brown sewing silk, with which 
Lydia was hemming two elegant gauze veils for herself 
and for Millicent The veils were to be worn that day 
I knew, for my mother had set her heart upon their ex- 
cluding a " thought " of east in the autumnal wind, and 
there was no other silk ; I managed to twist it into my 
shoe, and Lydia looked everywhere for it, even into the 
pages of Clo's book, — greatly to her discomfiture. But 
in vain, and at last said Lydia, "Here, Charles, you 
must buy me another," handing me a penny. Poor 
Lydia ! she did not know how long it would be before I 
brought the silk; but imagining I should be back not 
directly, I had the decency to transfer my pilfered skein 
to the under surface of the rug, for I knew that they 
would turn it up as usual in a search. And then, with- 
out having been observed to stoop, I fetched my beaver 
broad brimmer and scampered out. 

I scampered the whole way to the hall. It was a 
chilly day, but the sun had acquired some power, and it 
was all summer in my veins. I believe I had never 
been in such a state of ecstasy. I was quite light- 
headed, and madly expected to possess myself of a 
ticket immediately, and dance home in triumph. The 
hall ! how well I remember it, looking very still, very 
cold, very blank ; the windows all shuttered, the doors 
all closed. But never mind ; the walls were glorious J 



MV VISIT TO THE TICKET-OFFICE. 3 1 

They glittered with yellow placards, the black letters 
about a yard long announcing the day, the hour, the 
force, — the six-foot long list of wonders and worthies. 
I was something disappointed not to find the ticket- 
office a Spanish castle suddenly sprung from the stone- 
work of the hall itself, but it was some comfort that it 
was in St. Giles* Street, which was not far. 

I scampered off again, — I tumbled down, having lost 
my breath, but I sprang again to my feet; I saw a 
perfect encampment of placards, and I rushed towards 
it. How like it was to a modem railway terminus, that 
ticket-office ! — in more senses than one, too. The 
door was not closed here, but wide open to the street : 
within were green-baize doors besides, but the outer 
entrance was crowded, and those were shut, — not for 
a minute together, though, for I could not complain of 
quiet here. Constantly some one hurrying past nearly 
upset me, bustling out or pushing in. They were all men, 
it is true ; but was I a girl ? Besides, I had seen a boy 
or two who had surveyed me impertinently, and whom I 
took leave to stare down. A Uttle while I stood in the 
entry, bewildered, to collect my thoughts, — not my 
courage, — and then, endeavoring to be all calmness 
and self-possession, I staggered in. I then saw two en- 
closed niches, counter-like : the one had a huge opening, 
and was crammed with people on this side ; the other 
was smaller, an air of eclecticism pervaded it ; and be- 
hind each stood a man. There was a staircase in front, 
and painted on the wall to its left I read: "Com- 
mittee-room upstairs; Balloted places," — but then I 
returned to my counters, and discovered, by reading 
also, that I must present myself at the larger for unre- 
served central seats. It was occupied so densely in 
front just now that it was hopeless to dream of an ap* 



32 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

proach or appeal ; I could never scale that human wall 
I retreated again to the neighborhood of the smaller 
compartment, and was fascinated to watch the swarming 
faces. Now a stream poured down the staircase, all 
gentlemen, and most of them passed out, nodding and 
laughing among themselves. Not all passed out. One 
or two strolled to the inner doors and peeped through 
their gl^ss halves, while others gossiped in the entry. 
But one man came, and as I watched him, planted 
himself against the counter I leaned upon, — the mart 
of the reserved tickets. He did not buy any though, 
and I wondered why he did not, he looked so easy, so 
at home there. Not that I saw his face, which was 
turned from me ; it struck me he was examining a clock 
there was up on the staircase wall. I only noticed his 
boots, how bright they were, and his speckled trousers, 
and that his hand, which hung down, was very nicely 
covered with a doeskin glove. 

Before he had made out the time, a number of the 
stones in the human partition gave way at once, — in 
other words, I saw several chinks between the loungers 
at the larger counter. I closer clasped my sixpences, 
neatly folded in paper, and sped across the office. Now 
was my hour. I was not quite so tall as to be able to 
look over and see whom I addressed; nevertheless, I 
still spoke up. 

I said, " If you please, sir, I wish to speak to you 
very particularly about a ticket." 

"Certainly," was the reply instantly thrown down 
upon me. " One guinea, if you please.*' 

" Sir, I wish to speak about one, not to buy it just 
this minute ; and if you allow me to speak," — I could not 
continue with the chance of being heard, for two more 
stones had just thrust themselves in and hid my chink ; 



MY VISIT TO THE TICKET-OFFICE, 33 

they nearly stifled me as it was, but I managed to es- 
cape, and stood out clear behind. I stood out not to 
go, but to wait, determined to apply again far more 
vigorously. 

I listened to the rattling sovereigns as they dropped ; 
and dearly I longed for some of that money, though I 
never longed for money before or since. Then suddenly 
reminded, I turned, to see whether that noticeable per- 
sonage had left the smaller counter. He was there. I 
insensibly moved nearer to him, — so attractive was his 
presence. And as I believe in various occult agencies 
and physical influences, I hold myself to have been 
actually drawn towards him. He had a face upon 
which it was life to look, so vivid was the intelligence it 
radiated, so interesting was it in expression, and if not 
perfect, so pure in outline. He was gazing at me too, 
and this, no doubt, called out of me a glance all implor- 
ing, as so I felt, yea, even towards him, for a spark of 
kindliest beam seemed to dart from under his strong 
dark lashes, and his eyes woke up, — he even smiled just 
at the comers of his small, but not thin lips. It was 
too much for me. I ran across, and again took my 
stand beside him. I thought, and I still think, he would 
have spoken to me instantly ; but another man stepped 
up and spoke to him. He replied in a voice I have 
always especially affected, — calm, and very clear, but 
below tone in uttering remarks not intended for the 
public. I did not hear a word. As soon as he finished 
speaking, he turned and looked down upon me; and 
then he said, " Can I do anything for you? *' 

I was so charmed with his frank address, I quite 
gasped for joy : " Sir, I am waiting to speak to the man 
inside over there about my ticket." 

" Shall I go across and get it? " 
VOL. I. — 3 



34 CHARLES AUC HESTER, 

" Why, no, sir, I must speak to him — or if you would 
tell me about it." 

" 1 will tell you anything ; say on." 

" Sir, I am very poor, and have not a guinea, but I 
shall have enougli in time, if you will let me buy one 
with the money 1 have brought, and pay the rest by 
degrees.'' 

1 shall never forget the way he laid his hand on my 
shoulder and turned me to the light, — to scrutinize my 
developments, I suspect ; for he stayed a moment or 
two before he answered, " I do think you look as if you 
really wanted one, but I am afraid they will not under- 
stand such an arrangement here." 

" I must go to the festival," I returned, looking into 
his eyes, '* I am so resolved to go ; I will knock the 
door down if 1 cannot get a dcket. Oh ! I will sell my 
clothes, I will do anything. If you will get me a ticket, 
HJr, 1 will promise to pay you, and you can come and 
ask my mother whether I ever break my word." 

** I am sure you always keep it, or you would not love 
music HO earnestly; for you are very young to be so 
earnest," he responded, still holding me by the arm, that 
thrilled beneath his kindly pressure. " Will you go a 
little walk with me, and then 1 can better understand 
you or what you want to do ? " 

" I won't go till I have got my ticket." 

" You cannot get a ticket, my poor boy ; they are not 
so easily disposed of. Why not ask your mother? " 

** My sister as good as did ; but my mother said it 
was too expensive.*' 

'* I )id your mamma know how very much you wished 
It?" 

*' We do not say mamma, she does not like it ; she 
liken * liebe Mutter.' " 



"\ 



MY A£Br FI^ISAIk 35 

^Ah! dieisGcnnan. Ferbaps she would iDdw ]roa 
to go|, if joa told her yovar great desure.** 

^^ No» sir ; she told Lydia that it would put hv out 
of po<±et" 

My new frigid smiled at diis. 

" Xow, just come outside ; we are in the way of many 
people here, and I haN-e done my business since I saw 
that gentleman I was talking to when you crept so 
near me." 

** Did you know I wanted to come dose to }x>u, 
sir?" 

'^ Oh, yes ! and that you wanted to speak. I know 
Ae litde violin fece." 

These words transported me. " Oh ! do you think 
I am like a \dolin? I wish I were one going to the 
festival." 

" Alas ! in that sense you are not one, I fear." 

I burst into tears ; but I was very angry with mj'self, 
and noiselessly put my whole face into my handkerchief 
as we moved to the door. Once out in the street, the 
wind speedily dried these dews of my youth, and I ven- 
tured to take my companion's hand. He glanced down 
at mine as it passed itself into his, and I could see that 
he was examining it. I had very pretty hands and nails, 
— they were my only handsome point ; my mother was 
very vain of them. I have found this out since I have 
grown up. 

" My dear little boy, I am going to do a very daring 
thing." 

"What is that, sir?" 

" I am going to run away with you ; I am going to 
take you to my little house, for I have thought of some- 
tiling I can only say to you in a room. But if you will 



36 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

tell me your name, I will carry you safe home afterwards, 
and explain everything to the * liebe Mutter.' " 

'^Sir, I am so thankful to you that I cannot do 
enough to make you believe it I am Charles Auches- 
ter, and we live at No. 14 Heme Street, at a red house 
with little windows and a great many steps up to the 
door." 

" I know the house, and have seen a beautiful Jewess 
at the window." 

" Everybody says Millicent is like a Jewess. Sir, do 
you mind telling me your name ? I don't want to know 
it unless you like to tell it me." 

" My name is not a very pretty one, — Lenhart Davy." ^ 

"From David, I suppose?" I said, quickly. My 
friend looked at me very keenly. 

" You seem to think so at least." 

" Yes, I thought you came from a Jew, like us, — partly, 
I mean. Millicent says we ought to be very proud of 
it ; and I think so too, because it is so very ancient, and 
does not alter." 

I perfectly well remember making this speech. 
Lenhart Davy laughed quietly, but so heartily it was 
delightful to hear him. 

*' You are quite right about that Come I will you 
trust me ? " 

" Oh 1 sir, I should like to go above all things, if it is 
not very far, — I mean I must get back soon, or they will 
be frightened about me." 

^ Lenhart Davy is supposed by some to have been intended 
for Ferdinand David, who was Mendelssohn's concert-meister 
at the Gewandhaus in Leipsic and the teacher of Joachim and 
Wilhelmj. David never was in England, however, and the 
resemblance is too remote to be entertained. 




AfV NEW FRIEND. 37 

"You shall get back soon. I am afraid they are 
frightened now, — do you think so ? But my little house 
is on the way to yours, though you would never find 
it out" 

He paused, and we walked briskly forwards. 



CHAPTER IV. 

TURNING out of the market-place, a narrow street 
presented itself: here were factories and the 
backs of houses. Again we threaded a narrow turning : 
here was an outskirt of the town. It fronted a vast 
green space; all building-ground enclosed this quiet 
corner, for only a few small houses stood about. Here 
were no shops and no traffic. We went on in all haste, 
and soon my guide arrested himself at a little green 
gate. He unlatched it ; we passed through into a tiny 
garden, trim as tiny, pretty as trim, and enchantingly 
after my own way of thinking. Never shall I forget its 
aspect, — the round bed in the centre, edged with box as 
green as moss ; the big rose-tree in the middle of the 
bed, and lesser rose-trees round; the narrow gravel 
walk, quite golden in the sun ; the outer edge of box, 
and outer bed of heaths and carnations and glowing 
purple stocks. But above all, the giant hollyhocks, one 
on each side of a little brown door, whose little latticed 
porch was arched with clematis, silvery as if moonlight 
'* Minatrost " were ever brooding upon that threshold. 

I must not loiter here ; it would have been difficult to 
loiter in going about the garden, it was so unusually 
small, and the house, if possible, was more diminutive. 
It had above the door two tiny casement windows, onl}' 
two ; and as my guide opened the little door with a key 
he brought out of his pocket, there was nothing to 
delay our entrance. The passage was very narrow, but 



AT MR. LENIIART DAVY'S, 39 

lightsome, for a door was open at the end, peeping into 
a lawny kind of yard. No children were tumbling about, 
nor was there any kitchen smell, but the rarest of all 
essences, a just perceptible cleanliness, — not moisture, 
but freshness. 

We advanced to a staircase about three feet in width, 
uncarpeted, but of a rich brown color, like chestnut 
skins ; so also were the balusters. About a dozen steps 
brought us to a proportionate landing-place, and here I 
beheld two other little brown doors at angles with one 
another. Lenhart Davy opened one of these, and led 
me into a tiny room. Oh, what a tiny room ! It was 
so tiny, so rare, so curiously perfect that I could not 
help looking into it as I should have done into a cabinet 
collection. The casements were uncurtained, but a 
green silk shade, gathered at the top and bottom, was 
drawn half-way along each. The walls were entirely 
books, — in fact, the first thing I thought of was the 
book-houses I used to build of all the odd volumes in 
our parlor closet during my quite incipient years. But 
such books as adorned the sides of the litde sanctum 
were more suitable for walls than mine, in respect of size, 
being as they were, or as far as I could see, all music- 
books, except in a stand between the casements, where 
a few others rested one against another. There was a 
soft gray drugget upon the floor ; and though, of course, 
the book-walls took up as much as half the room (a 
complete inner coat they made for the outside shell), 
yet it did not strike me as poking, because there was no 
heavy furniture, only a table, rather oval than round, 
and four chairs ; both chairs and table of the hue I had 
admired upon the staircase, — a rich vegetable brown. 
On the table stood a square inkstand of the same wood, 



40 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

and a Httle tray filled with such odds as rubber, a pen- 
knife, sealing-wax, and a pencil The wood of the 
mantelshelf was the same tone, and so was that of a 
plain piano that stood to the left of the fireplace, in the 
only nook that was not books from floor to ceiling ; but 
the books began again over the piano. All this wood, 
so darkly striking the eye, had an indescribably sooth- 
ing effect (upon me I mean), and right glad was I to see 
Mr. Davy seat himself upon a little brown bench before 
the piano and open it carefully. 

" Will you take off your hat for a minute or two, my 
dear boy?" he asked, l)efore he did anything else. 

I laid the beaver upon the oval table. 

" Now, tell me, can you sing at all? *' 

" Yes sir." 

" From notes, or by ear?" 

" A great deal by ear, but pretty well by notes." 

" From notes," he said, correctingly, and I laughed. 

He then handed me a little book of chorales, which 
he fetched from some out-of-the-way hole beneath the 
instrument. They were all German : I knew some of 
them well enough. 

" Oh, yes, I can sing these, T think." 

" Try * Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott.' "^ Can you sing 
alto ? " 

" I always do. Millicent says it is proper for boys." 

He just played the opening chord slentando, and I 
began. I was perfectly comfortable, because I knew 
what I was about, and my voice, as a child's, was per- 
fect. I saw by his face that he was very much surprised, 
as well as pleased. Then he left me alone to sing an- 
other, and then a third ; but at last he struck in with a 

1 Martin Luther's chorale, " A mighty fortress is our God." 



AT MR- LENHART DA FY'S. 4 1 

bass, — the purest, mellowest, and most unshaken I have 
ever heard, though not strong ; neither did he derange 
me by a florid accompaniment he made as we went 
along. When 1 concluded the fourth, he turned, and 
took my hand in his. 

" I knew you could do something for music, but I had 
no idea it would be so very sweetly. I believe you will 
go to the festival, after all. You perceive I am very 
poor, or perhaps you do not perceive it, for children see 
fairies in flies. But look round my little room. I have 
nothing valuable except my books and my piano, and 
those I bought with all the money I had several years 
ago. I dare say you think my house is pretty. Well, it 
was just as bare as a bam when I came here six months 
ago. I made the shelves (the houses for my precious 
books) of deal, and I made that table, and the chairs, 
and this bench, of deal, and stained each afterwards ; I 
stained my shelves too, and my piano. I only tell you 
this that you may understand how poor I am. I cannot 
afford to give you one of these tickets, they are too 
dear, neither have I one myself; but if your mother 
approves, and you like it, I believe I can take you with 
me to sing in the chonis." 

This was too much for me to bear without some strong 
expression or other. I took my hat, hid my face in it, 
and then threw my arms round Lenhart Davy's neck. 
He kissed me as a young father might have done, with 
a sort of pride, and I was able to perceive he had taken 
an instant fancy to me. I did not ask him whether he 
led the chorus, nor what he had to do with it, nor what 
I should have to do ; but I begged him joyously to take 
me home directly. He tied on my hat himself, and I 
scampered all the way downstairs and round the garden 



42 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

before he came out of his shell. He soon followed after 
me, smiling ; and though he asked me no curious ques- 
tion as we went along, I could teU he was nervous 
about something. We walked very fast, and in little less 
than an hour from the time I left home, I stood again 
upon the threshold. 



V 



CHAPTER V. 

OF all the events of that market-day, none moved 
me more enjoyably than the sight of the counte- 
nances, quite petrified with amazement, of my friends in 
the parlor. They were my three sisters. Clo came 
forward in her bonnet, all but ready for a sortie ; and 
though she bowed demurely enough, she began at me 
very gravely, — 

" Charles, I was just about to set out and search for 
you. My mother has already sent a servant, She her- 
self is quite alarmed, and has gone upstairs." 

Before I could manage a reply, or introduce Lenhart 
Davy, he had drawn out his card. He gave it to the 
" beautiful Jewess." Millicent took it calmly, though 
she blushed, as she always did when face to face with 
strangers, and she motioned him to the sofa. At this 
very instant my mother opened the door. 

It would not be possible for me to recover that con- 
versation, but I remember how very refined was the 
manner, and how amiably deferential the explanation of 
my guide, as he brought out everything smooth and ap- 
parent even to my mother's ken. Lydia almost laughed 
in his presence, she was so pleased with him, and Milli- 
cent examined him steadfastly with her usually shrinking 
gray eyes. My mother, I knew, was displeased with me, 
but she even forgave me before he had done speaking. 
His voice had in it a quality (if I may so name it) of 



44 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

brightness, — a metallic purity when raised; and the 
heroic particles in his blood seemed to start up and 
animate every gesture as he spoke. To be more ex- 
plicit as to my possibilities, he told us that he was in fact 
a musical professor, though with little patronage in our 
town, where he had only a few months settled ; that for 
the most part he taught, and preferred to teach, in 
classes, though he had but just succeeded in organizing 
the first. That his residence and connection in our 
town were authorized by his desire to discover the max- 
imum moral influence of music upon so many selected 
from the operative ranks as should enable him by infer- 
ence to judge of its moral power over those same ranks 
in the aggregate. I learned this afterwards, of course, as 
I could not apprehend it then ; but I well recall that his 
language, even at that time, bound me as by a spell of 
conviction, and I even appreciated his philanthropy in 
exact proportion to his personal gifts. 

He said a great deal more, and considerably enlarged 
upon several points of stirring musical interest, before he 
returned to the article of the festival. Then he told us 
that his class would not form any section of the chorus, 
being a private affair of his own, but that he himself 
should sing among the basses, and that it being chiefly 
amateur, any accumulation of the choral force was of 
consequence. He glanced expressly at my mother when 
he said, — 

" I think your little boy's voice and training would 
render him a very valuable vote for the altos, and if you 
will permit me to take charge of him at the rehearsals, 
and to exercise him once or twice alone, I am certain 
Mr. St. Michel will receive him gladly." 

" Is Mr. St. Michel the conductor, Mr. Davy, then ? " 
replied my mother with kindness. " I remember seeing 



My MOTHER GIVES CONSENT, 45 

him in Germany when a little theatre was opened in 
our village. I was a girl then, and he very young." 

" Yes, madam. Application was made to the wonder- 
ful Milans-Andrd, who has been delighting Europe with 
his own compositions interpreted by himself; but he 
could not visit England at present, so St. Michel will be 
with us, as on former occasions. And he is a good con- 
ductor, very steady, and understands rehearsal." 

Let me here anticipate and obviate a question. Was 
not my mother afraid to trust me in such a mixed mul- 
titude, with men and women her inferiors in culture 
and position ? My mother had never tnisted me before 
with a stranger, but I am certain, at this distance of time, 
she could not resist the pure truthfulness and perfect 
breeding of Lenhart Davy, and was forced into desiring 
such an acquaintance for me. Perhaps, too, she was 
a little foolish over her last- bom, for she certainly did 
indulge me in a quiet way, and with a great show of 
strictness. 

As Lenhart Davy paused, she first thanked him, then 
rang the bell, was silent until she had ordered refresh- 
ments, sat still even then a few minutes, and presently 
uttered a deliberate consent. I could not bear it. I 
stood on one foot for an instant behind Clo's chair, and 
then flung myself into the passage. Once upstairs, I 
capered and danced about my mother's bed-room until 
fairly exhausted, and then I lay down on my own bed, 
positively in my coat and boots, and kicked the clothes 
into a heap, until I cried. This brought me to, and I 
remembered with awe the premises I had invaded. I 
darted to my feet, and was occupied in restoring calm 
as far as possible to the tumbled coverlid, when I was 
horrified at hearing a step. It was only Millicent, with 
tears in her good eyes. 



46 CHARLES AUC HESTER. 

" I am so glad for you, Charles," she said ; " I hope 
you will do everything in your power to show how grate- 
ful you are." 

'* I will be grateful to everybody," I answered. " But 
do tell me, is he gone ? " 

" Dear Charles, do not say ^ ht^ of such a man as 
Mr. Davy." 

Now, Millicent was but seventeen ; still, she had her 
ideas, girlishly chaste and charming, of what men ought 
to be. 

" I think he is lovely," I replied, dancing round and 
round her, till she seized ray hands. 

" Yes, Mr. Davy is gone ; but he is kindly coming to 
fetch you to-morrow, to drink tea with him, and mother 
has asked him to dine here on Sunday. He showed 
her a letter he has from the great John Andemach, be- 
cause mother said she knew him, and she says Mr. Davy 
must be very good, as well as very clever, from what 
Mr. Andemach has written." 

"I know he is good ! Think of his noticing me! I 
knew I should go 1 I said I would go I " and I pulled 
my hands away to leap again. 

The old windows rattled, the walls shook, and in 
came Clo. 

" Charles, my mother says if you do not keep yourself 
still, she will send a note after Mr. Davy. My dear boy, 
you must come and be put to rights- How rough your 
head is ! What have you been doing to make it so ? " 
and she marched me off. I was quelled directly, and it 
was indeed very kind of them to scold me, or I should 
have ecstasized myself ilL 

It was hard work to get through that day, I was so 
impatient for the next ; but Millicent took me to sing a 
little in the evening, and I believe it sent me to sleep. I 



REVEL IN ANTICIPATION. 47 

must mention that the festival was to last three days. 
There were to be three grand morning performances 
and three evening concerts ; but my mother informed 
me she had said she did not like my being out at night, 
and that Lenhart Davy had answered, the evening con- 
certs were not free of entrance to him, as there was to 
be no chorus, so he could not take me. I did not care ; 
for now a new excitement, child of the first and very 
like its parent, sprang within my breast. To sing myself, 
— it was something too grand ; the veins glowed in 
my temples as I thought of my voice, so small and thin, 
swelling in the cloud of song to heaven : my side 
throbbed and fluttered. To go was more than I dared 
to expect ; but to be necessary to go was more than I 
deserved, — it was glory. 

I gathered a few very nice flowers to give Lenhart 
Davy, for we had a pretty garden behind the house, and 
also a bit of a greenhouse, in which Millicent kept our 
geraniums all the winter. She was tying up the flowers 
for me with green silk when he knocked at the door, 
and would not come in, but waited for me outside. 
Amiable readers, everybody was old-fashioned twenty 
years ago,^ and many somebodies took tea at five 
o'clock. Admirable economy of social life, to eat 
when you hunger, and to drink when you thirst ! But 
it is polite to invent an appetite for made-dishes, so we 
complain not that we dine at eight nowadays; and it 
is politic too, for complexions are not what they used 
to be, and maiden heiresses, with all their thousands, 
cannot purchase Beauty Sleep ! Pardon my digression 
while Davy is waiting at the door. I did not keep him 
so long, be certain. We set out. He was very much 
pleased with my flowers, and as it was rather a chilly 

1 This would make the romance open in the year 1835. 



48 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

afternoon, he challenged me to a race. We ran to- 
gether, he striding after me like a child himself in play, 
and snapping at my coat ; I screamed all the while with 
exquisite sensation of pleasurable fun. Then I sped 
away like a hound, and still again he caught me and 
lifted me high into the air. Such buoyancy of spirits I 
never met with, such fluency of attitude ; I cannot call 
them or their effect animal. It was rather as if the 
bright wit pervaded the bilious temperament, almost 
misleading the physiologist to name it nervous. I have 
never described Lenhart Davy, nor can I ; but to use 
the keener words of my friend Dumas, he was one of 
the men the most " significant" I ever knew. 



CHAPTER VI. 

ARRIVED at his house, — that house, just what a 
house should be, to the purpose in every respect, 

— I flew in as if quite at home. I was rather amazed that 
I saw no woman-creature about, nor any kind of servant. 
The door at the end of the passage was still open ; I 
still saw out into the little lawny yard, but nobody was 
stirring. "The house was haunted ! " 

I believe it, — by a choir of glorious ghosts ! 

" Dear alto, you will not be alarmed to be locked in 
with me, I hope, will you ? " 

"Frightened, sir? Oh, no, it is delicious." I most 
truly felt it delicious. I preceded him up the staircase, 

— he remaining behind to lock the little door. I most 
truly felt it delicious. Allow me again to allude to the 
appetite. I was very hungry, and when I entered the 
parlor I beheld such preparation upon the table as re- 
minded me it is at times satisfactory as well as necessary 
to eat and drink. The brown inkstand and company 
were removed, and in their stead I saw a little tray, of 
an oval form, upon which tray stood the most exquisite 
porcelain service for two I have ever seen. The china 
was small and very old, — I knew that, for we were 
rather curious in china at home ; and I saw how very 
valuable these cups, that cream-jug, those plates must 
be. They were of pearly clearness, and the crimson 
and purple butterfly on each rested over a sprig of 
honeysuckle entwined with violets. 

VOL. T. — 4 



50 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

" Oh, what beautiful china I " I exclaimed ; I could 
not help it, and Lenhart Davy smiled. 

" It was a present to me from my class in Germany." 
" Did you have a class, sir, in Germany ? " 
'* Only little boys, Charlie, like myself." 
" Sir, did you teach when you were a little boy ? " 
" I began to teach before I was a great boy, but I 
taught only little boys then." 

He placed me in a chair while he left the room for an 
instant. I suppose he entered the next, for I heard him 
close at hand. Coming back quickly, he placed a little 
spirit-lamp upon the table, and a little bright kettle over 
it ; it boiled very soon. He made such tea ! — I shall 
never forget it ; and when I told him I very seldom had 
tea at home, he answered, " I seldom drink more than 
one cup myself; but I think one cannot hurt even such 
a nervous person as you are, — and besides, tea im- 
proves the voice, -—did you know that?" 

I laughed, and drew my chair close to his. Nor shall 
I ever forget the tiny loaves, white and brown, nor the 
tiny pat of butter, nor the thin, transparent biscuits, 
crisp as hoar-frost, and delicate as if made of Israel itish 
manna. Davy ate not much himself, but he seemed de- 
lighted to see me eat, nor would he allow me to talk. 
" One never should," said he, " while eating." 
Frugal as he was, he never for an instant lost his 
cheery smile and companionable manner, and I observed 
he watched me very closely. As soon as I had gathered 
up and put away my last crumb, I slipped out of my 
chair, and pretended to pull him from his seat. 
" Ah ! you are right, we have much to do." 
He went out again, and returned laden with a wooden 
tray, on which he piled all the things and carried them 
downstairs. Returning, he laughed and said, — 



MY FIRST LESSON AT MY NEW FRIEND'S. 5 1 

" I must be a little put out to-night, as I have a visitor, 
so I shall not clear up until I have taken you home." 

" My mother is going to send for me, sir ; but I wish 
I might help you now.'* 

" I shall not need help, — I want it at least in another 
way. Will you now come here? " 

We removed to the piano. He took down from the 
shelves that overshadowed it three or four volumes in 
succession. At length, selecting one, he laid it upon 
the desk and opened it. I gazed in admiration. It 
was a splendid edition, in score, of Pergolesi*s " Stabat 
Mater." He gathered from within its pages a separate 
sheet — the alto part, beautifully copied — and handed 
it to me, saying, " I know you will take care of it." So 
I did. We worked very hard, but I think I never en- 
joyed any exercise so much. He premised, with a cun- 
ning smile, that he should not let me run on at that rate 
if I had not to be brushed up all in a hurry ; but then, 
though I was ignorant, I was apt and very ardent. I 
sang with an entire attention to his hints ; and though I 
felt I was hurrying on too fast for my " understanding " 
to keep pace with my " spirit," yet I did get on very 
rapidly in the mere accession to acquaintance with the 
part. We literally rushed through the '* Stabat Mater," 
which was for the first part of the first grand morning, 
and then, for the other, we began the " Dettingen Te 
Deum." I thought this very easy after the "Stabat 
Mater," but Davy silenced me by suggesting, *' You do 
not know the difficulty until you are placed in the 
choir." Our evening's practice lasted about two hours 
and a half. He stroked my hair gently then, and said 
he feared he had fatigued me. I answered by thanking 
him with all my might, and begging to go on. He 
shook his head. 



52 CHARLES AUC HESTER. 

'^ I am afraid we have done too much now. This 
day week the * Creation,* — that is for the second morn- 
ing ; and then, Charles, then the ' Messiah/ — last and 
besL" 

" Oh, the * Messiah ' ! I know some of the songs, — 
at least, I have heard them. And are we to hear that ? 
and am I to sing in •■ Hallelujah ' ? " I had known of it 
from my cradle ; and loving it before I heard it, how did 
I feel for it when it was to be brought so near me ? I 
think that this oratorio is the most beloved of any by 
children and child-like souls. How strangely in it all 
spirits take a part ! 

Margareth, our ancient nurse, came for me at half- 
past eight. She was not sent away, but Davy would 
accompany us to our own door. Before I left his 
house, and while she was waiting in the parlor, he said 
to me, " Would you like to see where I sleep ? " and 
called me into the most wonderful little room. A 
shower-bath filled one comer ; there was a great closet 
one whole side, filled with every necessary exactly 
enough for one person. The bed was perfectly plain, 
with no curtains and but a head-board, a mattress, look- 
ing as hard as the ground, and a very singular portrait, 
over the head, of a gentleman, in line-engraving, which 
does not intellectualize the contour. This worthy wore 
a flowing wig and a shirt bedecked with frills. 

" That is John Sebastian Bach," said Lenhart Davy, — 
*^ at least, they told me so in Dresden. I keep it be- 
cause it means to be he." 

" Ah ! " I replied ; for I had heard the jaw-breaking 
name, which is dearer to many (though they, alas ! too 
few, are scattered) than the sound of Lydian measures. 



CHAPTER V/J, 

IF I p ci mit n^rtelf to p»y «i«y i#k^<: vmUi U^ tiku 
isam^ess coisa^, X i^^ &f:^4^ iok^; ^/m?K W Um^ 
^Bstiral: bat I tmas, pui my ikjunA m-. ^iituu»i>Ml iuyy 
^tasr JBXl Smadanr al dififfti'. X iri^ i^v<^ m^^^ i«#/ uM*aj 
sHOf arnica's wuck^ dp fiHici/ ; vm^ i VMi*M¥^ ^' 

IK/ HXIKX ^ IK: JM^;;^^ Vp ^^s^, i»MP t^^- Miiy 
tie i«a«- He ii«^a»t *^j#/ 4;^*/ V^* ^> i<> 

inML mmtslinMji^ ^odtm} \ r m:;^^ /^^ ^14/, 4^*^ yy 



t^^ iJMt^, .M^ a«^^ -^ ^1^' 
UT' ytr. •?!: uiar' j^, J4^, «^. ^^(»v ^- # . 4^4^ 



54 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

I remember the knock which came about seven in the 
evening, just as it was growing gray. I remember rush- 
ing from our parlor to Lenhart Davy on the doorstep. 
I remember our walk, when my hands were so cold and 
my heart was so hot, so happy. I remember the pale, 
pearly shade that was falling on street and factory, the 
shop-lit glare, the mail-coach thundering down High 
Street. I remember how I felt entering, from the dim 
evening, the chiaro-oscuro of the corridors, just un- 
certainly illustrated by a swinging lamp or two ; and I 
remember passing into the hall. Standing upon the 
orchestra, giddy, almost fearful to fall forwards into the 
great unlighted chaos, the windows looked like clouds 
themselves, and every pillar, tier, and cornice stood 
dilated in the unsubstantial space. Lenhart Davy had 
to drag me forwards to my nook among the altos, be- 
neath the organ, just against the conductor's desk. The 
orchestra was a dream to me, filled with dark shapes, 
flitting and hurrying, crossed by wandering sounds, 
whispers, and laughter. There must have been four or 
five hundred of us up there, but it seems to me Kke a 
lampless church, as full as it could be of people strug- 
gling for room. 

Davy did not lose his hold upon me, but one and an- 
other addressed him, and flying remarks reached him 
from every quarter. He answered in his hilarious voice ; 
but his manner was decidedly more distant than to me 
when alone with him. At last some one appeared at 
the foot of the orchestra steps with a taper ; some one 
or other snatched it from him, and in a moment a 
couple of candles beamed brightly from the conductor's 
desk. It was a strange, candle-light effect then. Such 
great, awful shadows threw themselves down the hall, 
and so many faces seemed darker than they had, clus- 



X 



\ 



I AM ENTRANCED. 55 

tered in the glooming twilight. Again sonie hidden hand 
had touched the gas, which burst in tongues of splen- 
dor that shook themselves immediately ova- ns ; then 
was the orchestra a blaze defined as day. But still dark, 
and darkening, like a vast abj'ss, lay the hall bef<wne us ; 
and the great chandelier was itself a blot, like a myst^y 
hung in circumambient nothingness. 

I was lost in the light around me, and striving to 
pierce into that mystery bej'ond, when a whisper thrilled 
me : ** Now, Charles, 1 must leave j^ou. Yon are XCr. 
Auchester at present. Stand firm and sing on. Look 
alone at the conductor, and think alone of your part. 
Courage!" Wliat did he say '^ courage " for ? As if 
my heart could fadl me then and there I 

I looked steadfastly on. I saw the man of many 
years' service in the cause of music kx>king 6iesh as any 
youth in the heyday of his primal fancy. A white- 
haired man, with a patriarchal staff besides, which he 
struck upon the desk for silence, and then raised, in 
calm, to dispel the silence. 

I can only say that my head swam for a few minutes, 
and I was obliged to shut my eyes before I could teU 
whether I was singing or not I was very thankfiil when 
somebody somewhere got out as a fiigue came in, and 
we were stopped, because it gave me a breathii^ in- 
stant. But then again, breathless, — nerveless, I might 
say, for I could not distinguish my sensations, — we 
nished on, or I did, it was all the same ; I was not my- 
self yet At length, indeed, it came, that restoring 
sense of self which is so precious at some times of our 
life. I recalled exacdy where I was. I heard myself 
singing, felt myself standing ; I was as if treading upon 
air, yet fixed as rock. I arose and fell upon those 
surges of sustaining sound ; but it was as with an undu- 



56 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

bting motion itself rest My spirit straightway soared. 
I could imagine my own voice, high above all the others, 
to ring as a lark*s above a forest, tuneful with a thousand 
tones more low, more hidden ; the attendant harmonies 
sank as it were beneath me ; I swelled above them. It 
was my first idea of paradise. 

And it is perhaps my last. 

Let me not prose where I should, most of all, be 
poeticaL The rehearsal was considered very successful. 
St. Michel praised us. He was a good old man, and, 
as Davy had remarked, very steady. There was a want 
of unction about his conducting, but I did not know 
it, certainly not feel it, that night The " Messiah " 
was more hurried through than it should have been, 
because of the late hour, and also because, as we were 
reminded, " it was the most generally known." Besides, 
there was to be a full rehearsal with the band before the 
festival, but I was not to be present, Davy consider- 
ately deeming the full effect would be lost for me were 
it in any sense to be anticipated. 

I feel I should only fail if I should attempt to de- 
lineate my sensations on the first two days of perform- 
ance, for the single reason that the third morning of that 
festival annihilated the others so effectually as to render 
me only master at this moment of its unparalleled inci- 
dents. Those I bear on my heart and in my life even 
to this very hour, and shall take them witli me, yea, as 
a part of my essential immortality. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE second night I had not slept so well as the 
first, but on the third morning I was, nathless, 
extraordinarily fresh. I seemed to have lived ages, but 
yet all struck me in perfect unison as new. I was only 
too intensely happy as I left our house with Davy, he 
having breakfasted with us. 

He was very much pleased with my achievements. I 
was very much pleased with everything; I was satu- 
rated with pleasure. That day has lasted me — a light 
— to this. Had I been stricken blind and deaf after- 
wards, I ought not to have complained, — so far would 
my happiness, in degree and nature, have outweighed 
any other I can imagine to have fallen to any other lot. 
Let those who endure, who rejoice, alike pure in pas- 
sion, bless God for the power they poss^ess — innate, 
unalienable, intransferable — of suffering all they feel. 

I shall never forget that scene. The hall was already 
crowded when we pressed into our places half an hour 
before the appointed commencement. Every central 
speck was a head ; the walls were pillared with human 
beings ; the swarm increased, floating into the reserved 
places, and a stream still poured on beneath the 
gallery. 

As if to fling glory on music not of its own, it was a 
most splendid day, — the finest, warmest, and serenest 
we had had for weeks. Through the multitudinous 
panes the sky was a positive blaze of blue ; the sunshine 



58 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

fell upon the orchestra from the great arched window at 
the end of the vaulted building, and through that win- 
dow's purple and orange border radiated gold and 
amethyst upon the countenances of the entering crowd. 
The hands of the clock were at the quarter now ; we in 
the chorus wondered that St. Michel had not come. 
Again they moved, those noiseless hands, and the 
** tongue " of iron told eleven. We all grew anxious. 
Still, as all the clocks in the town were not alike, we 
might be the mistaken ones by ours. It now struck 
eleven, though, from the last church within our hearing, 
and there was not yet St. Michel. We were all in the 
chorus fitted in so nicely that it would have been 
difficult for some to get out, or if out, impossible to get 
in. They were all in the orchestra placed as closely as 
possible, amidst a perfect grove of music-stands. The 
reserved seats were full, the organist was seated, the 
score lay wide open upon the lofty desk ; but St. Michel 
did not come ! 

I shall never forget how we wearied and wondered, 
and how I, at least, racked myself, writhed, and ago- 
nized. The. door beneath the orchestra was shut, but 
every instant or two a hand turned the lock outside ; 
one agitated face peeped in, then another, but were 
immediately withdrawn. I scarcely suppose the perfect 
silence lasted three minutes ; it was like an electrical 
suspension, and as quickly snapped. The surcharging 
spleen of the audience began to break in a murmuring, 
humming, and buzzing, from centre to gallery. The 
confusion of forms and faces became a perfect dream, 
it dazzled me dizzy, and I felt quite sick. A hundred 
fans began to ply in the reserved seats, the gentlemen 
bent over the ladies ; the sound gathered strength and 
portentous significance from the non-explanatory calm 



\ 



AN ACCIDENT. 59 

of the orchestra force ; but all eyes were turned, all 
chins lengthened, towards the orchestra door. At pre- 
cisely a quarter past eleven the door opened wide, and 
up came a gentleman in a white waistcoat. He stood 
somewhere in front, but he could not get his voice out 
at first. Oh, the hisses then ! the shouts ! the execra- 
tions ! But it was a musical assembly, and a few cries 
of " Shame ! " hushed the storm sufficientiy to give our 
curiosity vent. 

The speaker was a member of the committee, and 
very woebegone he looked. He had to say (and it was 
of course his painful duty) that the unprecedented delay 
in the commencement of the performance was occa- 
sioned by an inevitable and most unexpected accident 
Mr. St. Michel, in riding from his house a few miles out, 
had been thrown from his horse at the corner of the 
market-place, and falling on his right arm, had broken it 
below the elbow. 

The suddenness of the event would account for the 
delay sufficiently ; all means at present were being em- 
ployed to secure the services of an efficient resident 
professor, and it was trusted he would arrive shortly. 
Otherwise, should there among the enlightened audience 
be present any professor able and willing to undertake 
the res|>onsible office of conductor pro tempore, the 
committee would feel — A hurricane of noes tore up 
the rest of the sentence in contempt, and flung it in the 
face of the gentleman in the white waistcoat. He still 
stood. It was well known that not a hand could be 
spared from the orchestra ; but of course a fancy in- 
stantly struck me of Lenhart Davy. I looked up wist- 
fully at him, among the basses, and endeavored to 
persuade him with my eyes to come down. He smiled 
upon me, and his eye was kindled ; otherwise he seemed 



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62 CHARLES AUC HESTER. 

chord of the overture there burst one deep toll of 
wonderful applause. I can only call it a '^ toll ; " it was 
simultaneous. The conductor looked over his shoulder, 
and slightly shook his head. It was enough, and silence 
reigned as the heavenly sympathy of the recitative 
trembled from the strings surcharged with fire. Here it 
was as if he whispered *' Hush ! " for the sobbing stac- 
cato of the accompaniment I never heard so low, — it 
was silvery, almost awful. The baton stirred languidly, 
as the stem of a wind-swept lily, in those pointed 
fingers. 

Nor would he suffer any violence to be done to the 
solemn brightness of the aria. It was not until we all 
arose that he raised his arm, and impetuously, almost 
imperiously, fixed upon us his eyes. He glanced not 
a moment at the score, he never turned a leaf, but he 
urged the time majestically, and his rapturous beauty 
brightened as the voices firmly, safely, swelled over the 
sustaining chords, launched in glory upon those waves 
of sound. 

I almost forgot the festival. I am not certain that I 
remember who I was, or where I was, but I seemed to 
be singing at every pore. I seemed pouring out my 
life instead of my voice ; but the feeling I had of being 
irresistibly borne along was so transporting that I can 
conceive of nothing else like it, until after death. 




CHAPTER IX. 

THE chorus, I learned afterwards, was never recalled, 
so proudly true, so perfect, so flexible ; but it was 
not only not difficult to keep in, it was inifiossible to get 
out. So every one said among my choral contempo- 
raries afterwards. 

I might recall how the arias told, invested with that 
same charm of subdued and softened fulness ; I might 
name each chorus, bent to such strength by a might 
scarcely mortal : but I dare not anticipate my after 
acquaintance with a musician who, himself supreme, has 
alone known how to interpret the works of others. I 
will merely advert to the extraordinary calm that per- 
vaded the audience during the first part. 

Tremendous in revenge, perfectly tremendous, was 
the uproar between the parts, for there was a pause and 
clearance for a quarter of an hour. I could not have 
moved for some moments if I had wished it ; as it was, 
I was nearly pressed to death. Everybody was talking ; 
a clamor filled the air. I saw Lenhart Davy afar off, 
but he could not get to me. He looked quite white, 
and his eyes sparkled. As for me, I could not help 
thinking the world was coming to an end, so thirsty I 
felt, so dry, so shaken from head to foot. I could 
scarcely feel the ground, and I could not lift my knees, 
they were so stiff. 

But still with infatuation I watched the conductor, 
though I suffered not my eyes to wander to his face ; I 
dared not look at him, I felt too awful. He was sud- 



64 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

denly surrounded by gentlemen, the members of the 
committee. I knew they were there, bustling, skurry- 
ing, and I listened to their intrusive tones. As the 
chorus pressed by me I was obliged to advance a little, 
and I heard, in a quiet foreign accent, delicate as clear, 
these words : " Nothing, thank you, but a glass of pure 
water." 

Trembling, hot, and dizzy, almost mad with impa- 
tience, I pushed through the crowd; it was rather 
thinner now, but I had to drive my head against many 
a knot, and when I could not divide the groups I dived 
underneath their arms. I cannot tell how I got out, 
but I literally leaped the stairs ; in two or three steps I 
cleared the gallery. Once in the refreshment room, I 
snatched a glass jug that stood in a pail filled with lumps 
of ice, and a tumbler, and made away with them before 
the lady who was superintending that table had turned 
her head. I had never a stumbling footstep, and though 
I sprang back again, I did not spill a drop. I knew the 
hall was half empty, so taking a short way that led me 
into it, I came to the bottom of the orchestra. I stood 
the tumbler upon a form, and filling it to the brim, left 
the beaker behind me and rushed up the orchestra 
stairs. 

He was still there, leaning upon the score, with his 
hands upon his face, and his eyes hidden. I advanced 
very quietly, but he heard me, and without raising him- 
self from the desk, let his hands fall, elevated his counte- 
nance, and watched me as I approached him. 

I trembled so violently then, taken with a fresh 
shudder of excitement, that I could not lift the tumbler 
to present it. I saw a person from the other side ad- 
vancing with a tray, and dreading to be supplanted, 
I looked up with desperate entreaty. The unknown 



A VOICE I CAN NEVER FORGET. 6$ 

Stretched his arm and raised the glass, taking it from 
me, to his lips. Around those lips a shadowy half-smile 
was playing, but they were white with fatigue or excite- 
ment, and he drank the water instantly, as if athirst 

Then he returned to me the glass, empty, with a 
gende but absent air, paused one moment, and now, as if 
restored to himself, fully regarded me, and fully smiled* 

Down-gazing, those deep-colored eyes upon roe 
seemed distant as the stars of heaven; but there was 
an almost pitying sweetness In his tone as he addressed 
me. I shall never forget that tone, nor how my eyeUdK 
quivered widi the longing want to weep« 

** It was very refreshing,'* he said- " How much more 
strengthening is water dian wine \ Thank you {or the 
trouble you took to fetdi it And you, you sang also in 
the chorus. It was beautifully done.** 

*"May I tell them so, w:?^ I a^ed him, eageriy, 
without being abk to bel^ speaking in some reply- 

•^Yes, every one; but above aB, tiie litde ones;* 
and again be faintly smiled- 

Then he turned to the score, znd drooping over lie 
de^ seemed to pass hack into himseli^ alone, by hini' 
self companioned. And in an agony of ^ear lest I 
should intrude for a moment even, I sped as fast as 
I ixad entered from his iD3'sterious presence. 

To liiis hour I cannot find in my memor}' the tone in 
which he spoke that day. Though I have heard Itet 
voice so often since, have hstened to it in a trance of 
life-, I can never realize it. — it was too unearthly, and 
became part of what I shall be, having distilled from the 
esence of my being, as I am. 

WelL I came upon Leniiart Davy in one of the pas- 
sages as I was running back. I fell, in fact, against him, 
and he caught me in his arms. 

VOL. 1—5 



66 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

"Charles Auchester, where have yoa been? You 
have frightened me sorely. I thought I had lost you, I 
did indeed, and have been looking tVwr you ever since 

we came out of the halL" 

As soon as 1 could collect enough of myself to put 
into words, I exclaimed ecstatically, " Oh, Mr. Davy ! 
1 have been talking to the man in the orchestra ! " 

** You have, indeed, you presumptuous atomy ! " and 
he laughed in his own way, adding, ** I did not expect 
you would blow into an hero quite so soon. And is 
our hero up there still? My dear Charles, you must 
have been mistaken, he must be in the committee- 
room." 

" No, I was not. The idea of my mistaking ! as 
if anybody else could be like him ! He is up there now, 
and he would not come down, though they asked him ; 
and he said he would only drink a glass of water, and I 
heard him, for I waited to see, and I fetched it, and he 
drank it — there ! ** and I flung myself round Davy 
again, almost exhausted with joy. 

" And he spoke to you, did he, Charles ? My own 
little boy, be still, or I shall have to fetch you a glass of 
water. I am really afraid of all this excitement, for 
which you seem to come in naturally." 

" So I do, Mr. Davy ; but do tell me who is that 
man?" 

" I cannot tell," said Davy, himself so flushed now 
that I could hardly think him the same person, *' un- 
less, by some extraordinary chance, it may be Milans- 
Andre.'^ 

" No, no ! '* exclaimed one of our contemporaries, 
who, in returning to the orchestra, overheard the remark. 
*' No, no ! it is not Milans-Andr6. Mr. Hermann, 
the leader^ has seen Milans-Andr^ in Paris. No, it is 



^zaj^cTUss: ^ 



fcBJwSm&Ear f a trTiiiiHij i w '*' 

tat ae m€ass: is^'xi ana. Ixas^m^ "sxnss^l iiiQiir tase pop^ 
son wtra atitesKi ^Tfnr- 

** Dcart t&sfv-. 3fc DsHnr? Bat fe <jS^xs 5x?i: ofc i 

Eke one of jciir^30ci£^^^«s». — sad ^rst ^ vdsoe rt s^ 



pFofes5Qr5 m tae txiwn. ■*• can dt be ^iSms-AzBtlRt ? ^ 

^ Tber sir xaoti. yir, Wesder. I do iMt fcxiov DttYseSt 
bet I ^DGiiid Isire thxKi^Srt Mocsieor Aodre iiKist be 
okkr t!i2ii tms ^endem^n. wra£> does niot kwfc tweoty.** 

^Qh I fee K EEKjre I^Km twoiCT.'' 

•* As yoa pfesBe.*^ muttered Efevr, memlT. as be ttrnaed 
again to me. ^ Mj bor^ we most xsot stxnd kere ; we 
shall lose ocir o£d pbces. Do not for^ to renmn in 
yours, wi^n it is oter^ till I cocne to fetch toq.^ 

When it is o«er ! Oh^ crti^ Lenhart Dasy ! to re- 
mind me that it woold ever end. I f^ it cni^ them 
but perhaps I felt too much, — I always do, and I hope 
I alwavs sbalL 

Again marshalled in oar places (I having crept to 
mine), and again fitted in very tightiy, we all arose. I 
suppose it was the oppression of so many round roe 
standing, superadded to the strong excitement, but the 
whole time the chorus lasted, "Behold the Lamb of 
God !*' I could not sing. I stood and sobbed ; but even 
then I had respect to Davy's neady copied alto sheet, 
and I only shaded my eyes with that, and wept upon 
the floor. Nobody near observed me ; they were all 



68 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

singing with all their might; I alone dared to look 
down, ever down, and weep upon the floor. 

Such tears I never shed before ; they were as neces- 
sary as dew after a cloudless day, and, to pursue ray 
figure, I awoke again at the conclusion of the chorus 
to a deep, rapturous serenity, pure as twilight, and gazed 
upwards at the stars, whose " smile was Paradise," with 
my heart again all voice. 

I believe the chorus, ** Lift up your heads ! " will never 
again be heard in England as it was heard then, and I 
am quite certain of the " Hallelujah." It was as close, 
as clear, and the power that bound the band alike con- 
strained the chorus ; both seemed freed from all respon- 
sibility, and alone to depend upon the will that swayed, 
that stirred, with a spell real as supernatural, and sweet 
as strange. 

Perhaps the most immediate consequence of such 
faultless interpretation was the remarkable stillness of 
the audience. Doubtless a few there were who were 
calm in critical pique, but I believe the majority dared 
not applaud, so decided had been the negative of that 
graceful sign at the commencement of the performance ; 
besides, a breathless curiosity brooded, as distinctly to be 
traced in the countenance of the crowd as in their thrill- 
ing quietude, — for thrilling it was indeed, though not 
so thrilling as the outbreak, the tempest out-rolling of 
pent-up satisfaction at the end of the final chorus. That 
chorus (it was well indeed it was the last) seemed alone 
to have exhausted the strength of the conductor ; his 
arm suddenly seemed to tire, he entirely relaxed, and 
the delicate but burning hectic on each cheek alone 
remained, the seal of his celestial passion. 

He turned as soon as the applause, instead of de- 
creasing, persisted ; for at first he had remained with his 



DISAJFPRARAXCE- 69 

fiux towards the cfaoir. As the sfaoats sdH reached faim^ 
and die sea of heads began to fhirtnate, be bent alktiK 
in acknowiedgineDt, bat neverdieless preserved the ssme 
air of indi&reDce and abstractioo iroai all abont, be- 
neath him. lingeriDg on}j until the wa j was cleared 
below the oniiestia steps, he retreated down them eines^ 
before die appiaise had ceased, and be&xe any one 
conki approach him, withoot addressing any one, he 
left the haH 

And of him nodiing afterwards was heard, — I mean 
at that timp. Not a soul in the wh(^ town had learned 
his name, and die hotel at which he had slept die nigfat 
before was in vain attacked by q»es cm every cuand. 
Tbe landkffd coaM cmly say what he knew himself, — that 
he was a stranger who had visited the place for die pur- 
pose of attending the fesdval, and who, having ftilfilled 
that purpose, had left the city miknown, unpamed, as he 
entered it- 

I believe most children of my age would have had a 
fit of i11ne«g> after an excitement of brain and of body 
so peculiar ; but perhaps had I been less excited I should 
have been worse off afterwards. As it was, the stonn 
into which I had been wrought subsided of itseU^ and I 
was the betto" fcM: it, — just as Nature is said to be after 
her disturbances of a similar description. Davy took 
me home, and then set off to his own house, where he 
alwa3rs seemed to have so much to do ; and all my peo- 
ple were very kind to me in listening, while I, more 
calmly than any one would believe, expatiated upon our 
grand adventure. I was extremely amused to see how 
astonished Clo was to find me so reasonable ; for her 
only fear had been, she informed my mother, that 
Charles would not setde to anx'thing for weeks if he 
were allowed to go. And Millicent was very much 



70 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

astonished that I spoke so little of the performance 
itself. I could only defend myself by saying, " If you 
had seen him you would not wonder." 

" Is he handsome, Charles ? " said Lydia, innocently, 
with her brown eyes fixed upon her thimble (which she 
held upon her finger, and was shocked to perceive a 
httle tarnished). I was so angry that I felt myself turn 
quite sick; but I was good enough only to answer, 
" You would not think so ; " for so I believe. Milli- 
cent softly watched me, and added, ** Charlie means, I 
think, that it was a very beautiful face." 

^'I do," I said bluntly ; "I shall never see a beautiful 
face again. You will never see one at all, as you have 
not seen ihat^ 

"Pity us then, Charles," replied Millicent, in her 
gentlest voice. 

I climbed .upon her lap. " Oh, no, dear ! It is you 
who must pity me, because you do not know what it is, 
and I do, and I have lost it." 

Lydia lifted her eyes and made them very round ; but 
as I was put to bed directly, nobody heard any more of 
me that night. 



r'WSBS loy sBEHB^e* cr insttSoeir Bit wis joi^ sssttnatalt ttfioalt 
I ^[dsixiiiM fedl 99 sQi!£piiILaz% Ikmr mttxS. d&T. I ursts 
not cxactdlf fiMied, amdl I mrfisniKatt exaiddNr nfi^ansfi^A^ I 
was peiisc!% Mzn]&^ Eke 2 sMi^k^s aTartmnmmi d^v^ mtti md 
wind abcMBt. I ^ i^orj Ibsfie im bed, asfid ss I ^t ttibes^ 
I no nKxe bdSevied tSae ei^einilts <2f TesBerdar tloiii ^ tdbef 
had been a diream. I mas litleollST obil^ged to tcwitli 
mysd^ mj hair, my fiice^ and the bed-dbithes befbre I 
conld persoade myself thai I was not myseSf a dreaunu 
The ccdd bath restored me, into which I daihr s^praiig^ 
saomier and winter ahke ; bat I grew wor% a^:tiQ aifter 
bieakfast. 

Yearning to re-excite myself in some tehion;^ I 
marched into the parlor and requested Clo to teach «>e 
as osoaL There she was, in her gray-silk gown, peerii>|t 
(with her short-sightedness) into Herodotus ; but though 
all my books were placed upon the table by her, I could 
tell very easily that she had not expected me, and was 
very much pleased I should come. Her approbation 
overcame me, and instead of blotting my copy with ink» 
I used my tears. They were tears I could no morij 
have helped shedding than I could ha\*e helped breath- 
ing. Clo was very kind, she looked at me solemnlvi, 
not severely, and solemnly administered the consoUiUou 
that they were the effect of excitement. I did not 
think so ; I thought they were the effect of a want of 
excitement, but I said nothing to her. 



T2 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

I overcame them, and was quiet for the rest of the 
day, and for several days ; but imagine what I suffered 
when I saw no more of Lenhart Davy. As the world 
in our house went on just the same as before the festival, 
and as I had no hand in keeping the house so charm- 
ingly, nor any part in committees for dinner, nor in 
pickling speculations, I was fairly left to myself with my 
new discovery about myself; namely, that I must be a 
musician, or I should perish. 

Had I only seen Lenhart Davy, I could have told 
him all. I believe my attraction towards him was irre- 
sistible, or I should never have thought of him while he 
stayed away, it would have hurt me too much ; for I 
was painfully, may be vainly, sensitive. I was not able 
to appreciate his delicacy of judgment, as well as feeling, 
in abstaining from any further communication with us 
until we ourselves reminded him of us. I had no hope ; 
and the four or five days I have mentioned as passing 
without his apparition seemed to annihilate my future. 
I quite drooped, I could not help it ; and my mother 
was evidently anxious. She made me bring out my 
tongue a dozen times a day, and she continually sighed, 
as if reproaching herself with something. How long it 
seemed ! quite four months, as I used to reckon. I 
never once alluded to Lenhart Davy, but others did, — 
at least not Millicent, but Lydia and my eldest sister. 
Lydia made the observation that perhaps he was too 
modest to come without a special invitation; but Clo 
hurt me far more by saying that he had no doubt better 
engagements elsewhere. On the evening of the fifth 
day I was sitting upon the stool in the parlor by the 
window, after tea, endeavoring to gather my wandering 
fancies to " Simple Susan," her simple woes, pleasures, 
and loves (for Clo was there, and I did not wish to be 



A QUESTION, 73 

noticed), when Millicent came into the room and said 
my mother wished to speak to me upstairs. I went 
out with Millicent. " What does she want — I mean 
mother?" I inquired, no doubt rather peevishly. 

"She wants to ask you a question you will like to 
answer, Charles." 

" Shall I ? — what is it? I don't think I shall like to 
answer any question. Oh, Millicent!'* and I hid my 
small face in the folds of her dark-blue frocL 

" Come, Charles ! you know I would not deceive you. 
Darling, you must not feel so much." 

And she stooped to kiss me, smiling, though the tears 
were in her eyes. I still persisted in hiding my head, 
and when we reached the door of the dressing-room, I 
went in crying. My mother sat in a great white chair 
beside the fire ; next her stood a small table covered 
with hose, — the hose of the whole household. 

" How, Charles ! how now ! Be a man, or at least a 
boy, or I am sure I had better not ask you what I sent 
for you to answer. Come, say, would you like to sing 
in Mr. Davy's class? You must not give up your old 
lessons, nor must you forget to take great pains to write, 
to cipher, and to read as well ; but I think you are very 
fond of singing since you found your voice, and Mr. 
Davy, to whom I wrote, says you can be of use to him, 
and that he will be so very good as to teach you what he 
teaches the others, — to understand what you sing." 

Dear Millicent ! I knew I owed it all to her, for 
there had been that in her face, her manner, and her 
kind eyes that told me she had felt for me in my desola- 
tion ; and now as she stood apart from my mother and 
me, I ran to her and told her so — that I knew it all. I 
will not dwell upon the solicitude of Clo, lest I should 
become unmanageable in the midst of my satisfaction, 



74 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

nor upon Lydia's amazement at my mother's allowing 
me to join the class ; but I well recollect how Millicent 
kept fast by me, her will, as it were, upon mine, and 
her reminding calmness ever possessing me, lest I should 
by my ecstatic behavior forfeit my right to my new 
privileges. I was quite good enough, though, in the 
general opinion, to be permitted to go, as arranged, on 
the following Tuesday evening. 

Lenhart Davy dined with us on Sunday, by special 
invitation, written by my mother, conveyed by my 
Margareth. He told me that I must not mistake his 
silence if he spoke not to me nor noticed me when 
he was amidst his pupils. I perfectly understood even 
then how much depended upon his sagacious self- 
dependence. 

The class assembled from six till eight in the evening, 
twice a week ; the room Davy convoked it in was one 
he hired expressly. My mother sent me with Margareth, 
who was to fetch me again at the expiration of two 
hours, — at least during the winter, which was fast 
approaching. 

And thus, had it not been for the festival, I should 
have been at once initiated into " choral life." 

Though, indeed, but for that glorious time, and my 
own fantastic courage, first-fruit of a musical tempera- 
ment, I had perhaps never been taught to give that 
name where I can now bestow none other, so com- 
pletely has choral worship passed into my life. 

When Margareth left me at the door of a house I had 
never entered, — though I knew it well, for it was let out 
in auction-rooms, for committees and the like, — I felt 
far more wild and lost than when I attended the grand 
rehearsal hand in hand with Lenhart Davy. He was 
my master, though, — I remembered this, and also that 



THE CLASSROOM. 75 

he expected a great deal of me, for he had told me so, 
and that he had appointed me a high place among the 
altos. I had my numbered ticket in my hand, and 
upon it my name, and I showed it to a man who was 
standing above at the top of the steep staircase. He 
looked at it, nodded, and pushed me in. 

The room was tolerably large and high, and lighted 
by gas-burners, which fully illustrated the bareness of 
wall and floor and ceiling. Accustomed to carpets in 
every chamber, nay, in every passage, I was horrified to 
hear my own footfall upon the boards as I traversed the 
backs of those raised forms, one above the other, full of 
people. Boys and men, and women and girls, seemed all 
mixed up together, and all watching me ; for I was late, 
and quite dreamy with walking through the twilight 
town. Several beckoning hands were raised as I in- 
quired for the place of the altos, and I took my seat 
just where a number, nailed to the form, answered to the 
number on my ticket. 



CHAPTER XI. 

I WAS too satisfied to have found my way safely in, 
and too glad to feel deposited somewhere, to gaze 
round me just then ; but a door opened with a creaking 
hinge on the ground floor below, and as perfect in my 
eyes as ever, stepped forth Lenhart Davy and bowed to 
his whole class. He carried a little time-stick in his 
hands, but nothing else ; and as he placed himself in 
front, immediately beneath the lowest form, I was con- 
scious, though I believe no one else present could be, 
of the powerful control he had placed as a barrier 
between himself and those before him, — between his 
active and his passive being. 

He began to address us in his fine, easy tones, in 
language pure enough for the proudest intellect, suffi- 
ciently simple for the least cultured ear ; and he spoke 
chiefly of what he had said the time before, recapitula- 
ting, and pausing to receive questions or to elicit an- 
swers. But all he said, whatever it was to others, was 
to me a highly spiritual* analysis of what most teachers 
endeavor to lower and to explain away, — the mystery 
and integrity of the musical art. 

He touched very lightly upon theory, but expounded 
sounds by signs in a manner of his own, which it is not 
necessary to communicate, as its results were those of 
no system whatever, but was applied by wisdom, and 
enforced by gradual acquaintance. 

We did not begin to sing for at least half an hour ; 
but he then unlocked a huge closet, drew forth an enor- 



THE CUiSS. 77 

iDcms board, snd m^^ped thsFeon in white cbaB: the 
exfirdses of his own preparatian for our evening's prac- 
tice. These were pnre, were simple, as his introdoctoiy 
addrss. 

As I have said, the class -was only just organixed, but 
it was not a veiy smaD one ; there must have been sixty 
or seventy present that night I was in the topmost 
row of akos, and as soon as we began to sing I was 
irresistibly attracted to those about nie ; and to identify 
them with their voices was for me a smgnlar fascination. 
I was but the fornix from the wall on my side, and a 
bnmer was directly above me, I toc^ advantage of the 
light to critidse the comitenances of my nearer contem* 
poraiies, who were all absorbed in watching oar mast^^s 
evahitiax& I coold ncA look at him until I had ac- 
qoainted mj^elf with my locality, as far as I could 
without staring, or being stared aL Next the wall, two 
boys (so aHke that they could only have been brothers) 
nestled and tewled; they were daik-hned, yet sallow, 
and not inviting. I concluded they came from some 
^bctory, and so they did ; bat they did not please me 
enough to detain my attention, — they were beneath my 
own grade. So was a little giii nearest to them and 
next to me, but I could not help r^arding her She 
had the most imperturbable gaze I ever met, — great 
eyes of a yellow hazel, with no more expression in them 
than water ; but her cheeks were brightly colored, and 
her long auburn hair was curled to her waist. 

An ease pervaded her that was more than elegance. 
She leaned and she lounged, singing in a flexible voice, 
without the sb'ghtest effort, and as carelessly as she 
looked. She wore a pink gingham frock, ill made to a 
degree, but her slender figure moved in and out of it 
like a reed ; her hands were fitted into discolored light 



78 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

kid gloves, and she had on an amber necklace. This 
alone would have disgusted me, if she had not looked so 
unconcerned, so strange, and if I had not thought her 
hair so very pretty ; but I did, and, as I have said, I 
could not avoid regarding her. She had her bonnet in 
her lap (a bruised muslin one, with tumbled satin 
strings) ; and I was surveying it rather closely, when she 
turned upon me and whispered loud, not low (and then 
went on singing herself, instantly), "Why don't you 
sing?" Scared and shocked, I drew myself away from 
her as far as possible, and moved my eyes to my other 
neighbor. It was a girl too ; but I instantly felt the 
words " young lady " to be appropriate, though I knew 
not wherefore, except that she was, as it were, so per- 
fectly self-possessed. She must be older than I am (it 
occurred to me), but I could not tell how much. She 
was, in fact, about fourteen. 

It was some relief to look upon her, after being at- 
tacked by the quick little being on my right hand, be- 
cause she seemed as utterly indisposed to address me as 
the other had been determined. She did not seem even 
to see me, nor give the least glance at anybody or any- 
thing, except Lenhart Davy and his board. Upon them 
she fastened her whole expression, and she sang with 
assiduous calmness. So, though I sang too, fearing my 
friend would observe my silence, I turned quite towards 
my young lady and watched her intensely, — she noti- 
cing me no more than she would have noticed a fly walk- 
ing upon the wall, or upon Lenhart Davy's board. I 
was very fastidious then, whatever I may be now, and I 
seldom gazed upon a face for the pleasure of seeing it. 
In this instance I experienced a feeling beyond pleasure, 
so exquisitely did the countenance beside me harmonize 
with something in myself. Not strictly fine, nor severely 




AN JNFA TUA TJON, 79 

perfect in outline or of hue, this sweet face shone in 
glory not its own, — the most ardent musical intention 
lay upon the eyes, the lips, the brow; and the deep 
lashes themselves seemed bom to shade from too much 
brightness a beholder hke myself. 

I thought her a young woman, and so she was, com- 
pared with my age, at least ; but my awe and her exal- 
tation were measured by a distant self-possession towards 
me, towards all. She was not dressed with much more 
costliness than my wild little rebuker ; but her plain black 
frock fitted her beautifully, and her dark gloves, and the 
dark ribbon on her hat, and her little round muff, satisfied 
me as to her gentle and her womanly pretensions. 

In linking these adjectives, you will realize one of 
my infatuations wherever they are substantively found. 
Enough. I dared not leave off singing, and my voice was 
rather strong, so I could not clearly decide upon hers, 
until Davy wrote up a few intervals for unisons, which 
very few of us achieved on the instant. My calm com- 
panion was among those who did. Her voice was more 
touching than any I had ever heard, and a true con- 
tralto ; only more soft than deep, more distilling than 
low. But unknowing as I was, I was certain she had 
sung, and had learned to sing, long before she had 
joined the class ; for in her singing there was that puri- 
fied quality which reminds one (it did me) of filtered 
water, and she pronounced most skilfully the varied 
vocables. I felt afterwards that she must have been an- 
noyed at my pertinacious scrutiny, but she betrayed not 
the remotest cognizance of me or my regards ; and this 
indifference compelled me to watch her far more than 
sympathetic behavior would have done. That evening 
seemed long to me while we were at work, but I could 
not bear the breaking-up. I had become, as it were, 



8o CHARLES A [/CHESTER. 

connected with my companions, though we had not ex- 
changed a word. I was rather disposed to wait and see 
who would join ray Httle girl with her wild eyes, and my 
serene young lady. I believe I should have done so, 
but Lenhart Davy kindly came up from below and 
shook hands with me ; and while I was receiving and 
returning his greeting, they were lost in the general 
crowd. 

He took me himself down stairs to Margareth, who 
was awaiting me with a cloak and a comforter in a little 
unfurnished room : and then he himself departed, look- 
ing very tired. 



CHAPTER XII. 

I DID not see him again until the next class-night It 
was strange to find the sanie faces about me ; and 
above all, my two heroines, dressed exactly as on the 
first occasion, except that the pink frock was rather less 
brilliant. I listened eagerly for those pure tones to 
swell, communing with my own, and I was not disap- 
pointed. We did not sing anything that I can specify 
at present ; but it was more than pleasure — it was vitality 
— to me to fling out my own buoyant notes far and wide, 
supported, as it were, by an atmosphere of commingling 
sounds.- I suppose, therefore, that I may have been 
singing very loud when the daring little head out of the 
muslin bonnet put itself into my face and chanted, in 
strict attention to Davy's rules all the time, '* How beau- 
tifully you do sing ! " I was hushed for the moment, 
and should have been vexed if I had not been fright- 
ened ; for I was ridiculously timorous as a child. 

She then brought from the crown of her bonnet a 
paper full of bonbons, which she opened and presented 
to me. I replied very sharply, in a low voice, " I don't 
eat while I am singing,'' and should have taken no 
more notice of her ; but she now raised upon me her 
large eyes to the full, and still pushed the bonbon paper 
at me, — almost in my face too. I was too well bred to 
push it away, but too honest not to say, when she still 
persisted in offering the saccharine conglomeration, '' I 
don't like curl papers." The child turned from me with 

VOL. I. — 6 



S2 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

2l fierce gesture, but her eyes were now swimming in 
tears. I was astonished, angry, melted. I at length 
reproached myself; and though I could not bring my- 
self to touch the colored chocolates, crumbled up as 
they had been in her hand, I did condescend to whis- 
per, " Never mind ! " and she took out her handker- 
chief to wipe her eyes. 

Now, all this while my young lady took no heed, and 
I felt almost sure she must have noticed us ; but she 
did not turn to the large-eyed maiden, and /occupied 
myself with both. That night again Davy joined me, 
and I only managed to catch a glimpse of the muslin 
bonneted, holding her bonbons still in one dirty glove, 
and with the other taking the hand of a huge, high- 
shouldered man, going out with the crowd. 

Oh, Davy was too deep for me, and delicate as 
deep ! The next night of our meeting my number was 
moved to the other side of my serene neighbor, who at 
present divided me from the hazel eyes and the ringlets. 
It never occurred to me that he had done it ; I thought 
it to be a mistake, and fully intended, like a curious 
manikin, to go back another time to my old quarters. 
I could not help looking at the little one to see whether 
I was watched. But no ; with a coquetry I was too young 
to appreciate, and she ought to have been too young to 
exercise, she sang with all her might, never once turn- 
ing her eyes towards me. I found at length the fascina- 
tions of our choral force too strong not to submerge her 
slight individuality, and soon I forgot she was there, — 
though I never forgot that serene voice breathing by my 
side faint prophecies I could not render to myself in 
any form, except that they had to do with myself, and 
with music alike my very own. I do not think any 
musical taste was ever fed and fostered early in an atmos- 



AN ANTHEM. 83 

phere so pure as mine ; for Lenhart Davy's class, when 
fully organized and entirely submitted to him, seemed 
invested with his own double peculiarity, — subdued, 
vet strong. We were initiated tiiis evening into an an- 
cient anthem, whose eflect, when it was permitted to us 
to interpret, was such that 1 could not repress my satis- 
faction, and 1 said aloud, tliough I did not confront my 
companion, " That is something like ! " My serene 
contralto answered, strangely to my anticipations, and 
with the superior womanliness I have ascribed to her, 
*'Is it not glorious?'* 

It was an anthem in the severe style, that tells so 
powerfully in four-voiced harmony ; and the parts were 
copied upon gigantic tablets in front, against the wall 
tliat was Davy's background. 

" I cannot see," said the other little creature, pulling 
the contralto's black-silk gown. 

" I am sorr}^ for you,'* replied the other, " but I believe 
that you can see, Laura, as well ^as I can ; you mean you 
will not trouble yourself, or that you are idle to-night." 

" And what if I do ? I hate those horrid hjTnn sort 
of tunes ; they will not be of any use to me." 

" Silence ! " uttered the voice of Lenhart Davy. 
There was seldom occasion for him to say so, but 
just now there had been a pause before we repeated 
the first movement of the anthem. 

He told me he had a little leisure that evening, and 
would take me home. I was enchanted, and fully 
meant to ask him to come in with me ; but I actually 
forgot it until after he had turned away. Margareth re- 
proved me very seriously ; " Your sisters would have 
asked him in. Master Charles, to supper." Bnt the fact 
was, I had been occupied with my own world too much. 
I had said to him directly we were in the street, *• Dear 



84 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

Mr. Davy, who are those two girls whose seats are the 
nearest to mine ? " 

" They belong to the class like yourself, as you per- 
ceive, but they are not persons you would be likely to 
meet anywhere else." 

" Why not, sir ? I should like to be friends with all 
the singers." 

Davy smiled. " So you may be, in singing, and, I 
hope, will be ; but they are not all companions for you 
out of the class. You know that very well.'* 

" I suppose, sir, you mean that some are poorer than 
we are, some not so well brought up, some too old, and 
all that?" 

** I did, certainly ; but not only so. You had better 
not make too many friends at your time of life, — rather 
too few than too many. Ask your mother if I am not 
correct. You see, she has a right to expect that you 
should love home best at present." 

" I always should love home best," I answered quickly ; 
and I remember well how Davy sighed. 

"You mean what even every boy must feel, that 
you should like to make a home for yourself; but the 
reward is after the race, — the victory at the end of the 
struggle." 

It appeared to me very readily that he here addressed 
something in his own soul ; for his voice had fallen. I 
urged, " I know it, sir ; but do tell me the names of 
those two girls, — I won't let them know you told 
me." 

He laughed long and heartily. " Oh ! yes, willingly ; 
you would soon have heard their names, though. The 
little one is Laura Lemark, the child of a person who 
has a great deal to do with the theatres in this town, 
and she is training for a dancer, besides being already a 



CLARA BENETTE. 85 

singer in the chorus at a certain theatre. Your mother 
would not like you to visit her, you may be sure ; and 
therefore you should not try to know her. I placed you 
near her because she is the most knowing of all my 
pupils, except Miss Benette,^ the young person who 
sat next you this evening." 

** With the lovely voice? Oh ! I should never know 
her if I wished it." 

"You need not wish it; but even if you did, she 
would never become troublesome in any respect She 
is too calm, too modest.*' 

"And pray, tell me, sir, is she to be a dancer too?" 

" No, oh, no ! She will decidedly become one of the 
finest singers in England, but I believe she will not 
go upon the stage." 

" You call the theatre the stage, sir, don't you ? " 

"Yes, in this instance." 

" But why won't she go upon the stage? Cannot she 
act ? " 

" She does not think she is called to it by any special 

gift." 

'* Did she say those words, sir? " 

" Those very words." 

" I thought she would just say them, sir. Does she 
know you very well ? " 
" She is my own pupil." 

1 Clara Benette, who plays such an important part in this 
romance, has been generally accepted as a sketch of Jenny Lind. 
The resemblances are not very close, however. At the time of the 
opening of the story she had not made her dibuty and she did not 
appear in England until 1847, the year of Mendelssohn's death. 
It is true, however, that she was an intimate friend of the com- 
poser and followed his advice explicitly, and that he was largely 
instrumental in introducing her to the English public. She also 
founded a musical scholarship in London in his memory. 



S6 CHARLES A UC HESTER. 

" Oh ! out of the class, sir, I suppose ? " 

" Yes, I teach her in ray house." 

" Sir, I wish you taught me in your house.** 

" I should say, too, that I wished it," answered Davy, 
sweetly ; " but you have a sister to teach you at home, 
and Clara Benette has no one." 

" I should like to have no one — to teach me, I mean, 
— if you would teach me. If my mother said yes, 
would you, sir? " 

" For a little while I would with pleasure." 

" Why not long, sir ? I mean, why only for a little 
while?" 

"Because there are others of whom you ought to 
learn, and will learn, I am persuaded," he added, al- 
most dreamingly, as he turned me to the moonlight, 
now overspread about us, and surveyed me seriously. 
" The little violin-face, — you know, Charles, I cannot 
be mistaken in those lines." 

" I would rather sing, sir." 

" Ah ! that is because you have not tried anything 
else." 

" But, sir, you sing." 

" I suppose that I must say, as Miss Benette does, * I 
have a special gift ' that way," replied Davy, laughing. 

" You have a special gift all the ways, I think, sir," I 
cried as I ran into our house. I told Millicent all he 
had said, except that Laura was to be a dancer ; and yet 
I cannot tell why I left this out, for there was that about 
her fairly repelling me, and at the same time I felt as if 
exposed to some power through her, and could not 
restrain myself from a desire to see her again. Millicent 
told my mother all that I had said to her the next morn- 
ing at breakfast. My mother, who had as much worldli- 
ness as any of us, and that was just none, was mightily 



MY MOTHER HESITATES, 87 

amused at my new interests. She could not make up 
her mind about the private lessons yet ; she thought 
me too young, and that I had plenty of time before me, 
— at present the class was sufficient excitement, and 
gave me enough to do. Clo quite coincided here ; she, 
if anything, thought it rather too much abready, though 
a very good thing indeed. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

NEXT time we met we began the anthem after our 
first exercise. Laura ^ — by this time she was al- 
ways Laura in my own world — nodded at me. She 
had on a green silk frock to-night ; and surely no color 
could have so enhanced the clarified brightness of her 
strange eyes. Davy was pleased with us, but not with 
our enunciation of certain syllables. He requested us 
as a favor to practise between that meeting and the 
next. There were a great many assents, and Laura was 
very open in her ''yes." Miss Benette whispered to 
herself, " Of course." And I, unable to resist the 
opportunity, whispered to her, " Does he mean that 
we are to practise alone, or one by one?" 

" Mr. Davy will lend us our parts, and I daresay will 
copy them on purpose," she replied. " It will be better 
to practise alone, or at least one or two together, than a 
great many, or even a few. We can more easily detect 
our faults." 

" How well she speaks ! " I thought, — " quite as pret- 
tily as Millicent ; her accent is very good, I am sure ; ** 
and I again addressed her. " I do not think you have 

^ The idea that Laura Lemark was intended as a sketch o£ 
Taglioni, the danseuse, is altogether fanciful ; except the fact 
that Taglioni in her old age taught deportment to ladies who 
desired to be presented at the English court, and that Laura did 
the same after she had retired, there is no resemblance between 
them. 



/ MAKE ADVANCES, 89 

any faults at all, — your voice seems able to do any- 
thing." 

** I do nothing at all with it, it seems to me, and that 
I have very little voice at present. I think we had bet- 
ter not talk, because it seems so careless." 

"Talk to me," broke in Laura from beyond Miss 
Benette ; but I would not, — I steadily looked in front, 
full of a new plan of mine. I must explain that we 
proceeded slowly, because Davy's instructions were 
complete, — perhaps too ideal for the majority ; but for 
some and for me there was an ineffaceable conviction 
in every novel utterance. 

Just before we separated, I ventured to make my re- 
quest. " Miss Benette ! " I said, and she almost stared, 
quite started to find I knew her name, " Mr. Davy told 
me who you were, — will you let me come and practise 
with you ? He will tell you my name if you must know 
it, but I should so like to sing with you, — I do so ad- 
mire your voice." I stroke with the most perfect inno- 
cence, at the same time quite madly wishing to know 
her ; I did not mean to be overheard, but on the instant 
Laura looked over. 

" You don't ask tneP 

" Because I don't care about your voice," I answered, 
bluntly. She again gazed at me brightly, her eyes 
swimming. 

" Oh, hush ! " whispered Miss Benette ; " you have 
hurt her, poor little thing." 

" How very good you are ! " I returned, scarcely 
knowing what to say. *' I always speak the truth." 

" Yes, I should think so ; but it is not good taste to 
dislike Laura's voice, for it is very pretty." 

"Come, Miss Benette, do make haste and tell me 
whether you will let me sing with you to-morrow." 



90 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

" I do not mind if your friends will not object." 

"Tell me where you live, then." 

" In St. Anthony's Lane, just by the new foundation. 
There is a tree in front, but no garden. You must not 
come, if you please, until after one o'clock, because I 
have to practise for my other lessons." 

" Good-night." 

She ran off, having bowed a little courtesy. Laura 
had left while we were talking. 

" Now," thought I, " I shall have it all out, who she 
is and what she does, and I will make Millicent go to 
see her." Davy here joined me. 

" So you have made friends with Miss Benette." 

" Yes, sir ; " but I did not tell him I was going to 
practise with her, for fear anything should prevent 
my going. 

" She is an excellent young person, and will be a true 
artist. Nevertheless, remember my injunction, — rather 
too few friends than too many." 

" I mean to keep friends with her, and to make my 
sister friends with her." 

" Your sister does not want friends, I should think." 

" Oh, sir, did you ever find out who the conductor 
was ? " 

** Nobody knows. It is very singular," and he raised 
his voice, " that he has never been heard of since, and 
had not been seen before by anybody present, though 
so many foreign professors were in the hall. In London 
they persist it was Milans-Andre, though Andrd has 
himself contradicted the assertion." 

" I should like to hear Milans-Andr^." 

" You will some day, no doubt." 

" Do you think I shall ? " 

"I feel in myself quite sure. Now, good-night to you." 



V 



/ VISIT MISS BENETTE. 9 1 

** Do come in, sir, and have some supper, please." 

But Davy was off in the moonlight before the door 
could be opened into our house. 

When I told Millicent I was going to practise with 
one of the class, she thought fit to tell my mother. My 
mother made various inquiries ; but I satisfied her by 
assuring her it was one of Davy's own pupils, and his 
favorite, and I contrived not to be asked whether it 
was a young lady, — I let them think just at that time it 
was a young gentleman about my own standing. The 
only direct injunction laid upon me was that I should be 
home for tea at five o'clock, — and as I did not leave 
our house until after our one o'clock dinner, this did not 
give me very much time ; but I ran the whole way. 

I forgot to mention that Davy had lent each of us 
our parts beautifully copied, — at least he had lent them 
to all who engaged to practise, and I was one. I had 
rolled it up very neatly. 

I soon found the house, but I was certainly astonished 
when I did find it. I could not believe such a creature 
as Miss Benette could remain, so bright, buried down 
there. It was the last house of a very dull row, all let 
out in lodgings, — the meanest in the town except the 
very poor. 

It was no absurd notion of relative inferiority with 
which I surveyed it, I was pained at the positive fact 
that the person to whom I had taken such a fancy should 
be obliged to remain where I felt as if I should never be 
able to breathe. I lingered but a moment though, and 
then I touched a little heavy, distorted knocker that 
hung nearly at the bottom of the door, — how unlike, I 
thought, to Lenhart Davy's tiny castle under lock and key ! 
Presently the door was opened by a person, the like of 
whom I had never seen in all my small experience, — 



92 CHARLES A UC HESTER, 

a universal servant, required to be ubiquitous ; let this 
description suffice. I asked for Miss Benette. " The 
first door to the right, upstairs," was the reply; and 
passing along a dark entry, I began to ascend them, 
steep and carpetless. I seemed, however, to revive 
when I perceived how lately the wooden steps had been 
washed ; there was not a foot-mark all the way up to the 
top, and they smelt of soap and water. 

I found several doors to embarrass me on the land- 
ing, all painted black ; but I heard tones in one direc- 
tion that decided me to knock. A voice as soft as 
Millicent's responded, " Come in." 

Oh, how strange I felt when I entered ! to the full 
as strange as when I first saw Davy's sanctum. No 
less a sanctum this, I remember thinking, to the eyes 
that behold the pure in heart. It was so exquisitely 
tidy, I felt at once that my selfish sensibilities had 
nothing to fear. The room was indeed small, but no 
book walls darkened gloriously the daylight ; the fire- 
place was hideous, the carpet coarse and glaring, the 
paper was crude green, — I hate crude greens more 
than yellow blues, — and the chairs were rush-bottomed, 
every one. But she for whom I came was seated at the 
window, singing ; she held some piece of work in her 
hand, which she laid upon the table when I entered. Par- 
don my reverting to the table ; I could not keep my eyes 
fi-om it. It was covered with specimens of work, — such 
work as I had never seen, as I shall never see again, 
though all my sisters could embroider, could stitch, 
could sew with the very best. She did not like me to 
look at it though, I thought, for she drew me to the win- 
dow by showing me a chair she had set for me close be- 
side her own. The only luxury amidst the furniture was 
a mahogany music-stand, which was placed before our 



THE ANTHEM. 93 

two seats. One part lay upon the stand, but it was not 
in Lenhart Davy's autography. 

"Did you copy that part yourself, Miss Benette?" 
said I, unable to restrain the question. 

" Yes ; I thought it too much that Mr. Davy should 
copy all the parts himself for us." 

"Does he?" 

" Oh, yes ; did you not know it ? But we must not 
talk, we must work. Let us be very careful." 

" You show me how; please to sing it once alone." 

She struck the tuning-fork upon the desk, and without 
the slightest hesitation, flush, or effort, she began. One 
would not have deemed it an incomplete fragment of 
score ; it resounded in my very brain like perfect har- 
mony, so strangely did my own ear infer the intermedi- 
ate sounds. 

"Oh, how lovely! how exquisite it must be to feel 
you can do so much ! " I exclaimed, as her unfaltering 
accent thrilled the last amen. 

" I seem never to have done anything, as I told you 
before ; it is necessary to do so much. Now sing it 
alone once all through, and I will correct you as Mr. 
Davy corrects me." 

I complied instantly, feeling her very presence would 
be instruction, forgetting, or not conscious, how young 
she was. She corrected me a great deal, though with 
the utmost simplicity. I was astonished at the depth of 
her remarks, though too ignorant to conceive that they 
broke as mere ripples from the soundless deeps of genius. 
Then we sang together, and she wandered into the 
soprano part. I was transported ; I was eager to retain 
her good opinion, and took immense pains. But it 
never struck me all the time that it was strange she 
should be alone, — apparently alone, I mean. I was too 



94 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

purely happy in her society. She sat as serenely as at 
the class, and criticised as severely as our master. 

" It is getting late/' she said at last, ** and I think you 
had better go. Besides, I must go on with my work. If 
you are so kind as to come and practise with me again, 
I must work while I sing, as I do when I am alone." 

" Oh, why did you not to-day ? " 

" I thought it would not be polite the first time," an- 
swered she, as gravely as a judge ; and I never felt so 
delighted with anything in all my life. I looked up at 
her eyes, but the lashes were so long I could not see 
them, for she was looking down. 

" Will you think me rude if I ask to look at your 
work ? " 

" You may look at what I am going to send to the 
shop." 

" Oh, what shop ? " 

She got out of her chair and moved to the table. 
There was no smile upon her baby-mouth. She pointed 
to the articles I had noticed but had not dared to 
examine. They were, indeed, sights to see, one and 
all. Such delicate frock-bodies and sprigged caps for 
infants; such toilet-cushions rich with patterns, like 
ingrained pearls ; such rolls of lace, with running gos- 
samer leaves, or edges fine as the pinked carnations 
in Davy's garden. There were also collars with broad 
white leaves and peeping buds, or wreathing embroidery 
like sea-weed, or blanched moss, or magnified snow, or 
whatever you can think of as most unlike work. Then 
there was a central basket, lined with white satin, in 
which lay six cambric handkerchiefs, with all the folded 
comers outwards, each comer of which shone as if dead- 
silvered with the exquisitely wrought crest and motto of 
an ancient coroneted family. 



EIN MAERCHEN. 95 

" Oh, I never did see anything like them ! " was all 
I could get out, after peering into everything till the ex- 
celling whiteness pained my sight. " Do tell me where 
you send them ? " 

" I used to send them to Madame Varneckel's, in 
High Street ; but she cheated me, and I send them now 
to the Quaker's, in Albemarle Square." 

" You sell them, then? " 

" Yes, of course ; I should not work else. I do not 
love it." 

" They ought to give you a hundred guineas for those.'* 

" I have a hundred guineas already." 

" You have ! " I quite startled her by the start I 
gave. I very nearly said, "Then why do you live up 
here?" but I felt, in time, that it would be rude. 

" Oh ! I must get four hundred more, and that will 
take me two years, or perhaps three, unless my voice 
comes out like a flower." Here her baby-mouth burst 
into a smile most radiant, — a rose of light ! 

" Oh, Miss Benette, everything you say is like one of 
the German stories, — a Mdrchen} you know." 

"Oh, do you talk German? I love it. I always 
spoke it till I came to this city." 

" What a pity you came ! — at least, I should have been 
very sorry if you had not come ; but I mean, I should 
have thought you would like Germany best." 

" So I should, but I could not help coming ; I was a 
baby when I came. Mr. Davy brought me over in his 
arms, and he was just as old then as I am now." 

" How very odd ! Mr. Davy never told me he had 
brought you here." 

" Oh, no ! he would not tell you all the good things 
he has done." 

1 A tale, or romance. 



96 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

" He has done me good, — quite as much good as 
he can have done to you ; but I should so like to hear 
all about it." 

" You must not stay, — you shall go," she answered, 
with her grave sweetness of voice and manner ; " and if 
you are not in time to-day, we shall never practise again. 
I shall be very sorry, for I like to sing with you." 

I was not in time, and I got the nearest thing to 
a scolding from my mother, and a long reproof from 
Clo. She questioned me as to where I had been, 
and I was obliged to answer. The locality did not sat- 
isfy her ; she said it was a low neighborhood, and one 
in which I might catch all sorts of diseases. I persisted 
that it was as high and dry as we were, and possessed 
an advantage over us in that it had better air, being, 
as it was, all but out in the fields. My mother was 
rather puzzled about the whole matter, but she declared 
her confidence in me, and I was contented, as she ever 
contents me. I was very grateful to her, and assured 
them all how superior was Miss Benette to all the mem- 
bers of the class. I also supplicated Millicent to ac- 
company me the next time I should be allowed to go, 
that she might see the beautiful work. 

"I cannot go, my dear Charles," she returned. 
" If this young lady be what you yourself make her out 
to be, it would be taking a great liberty ; and besides, 
she could not want me, — I do not sing in the class." 

But she looked very much as if she wished she did. 

" I just wish you would ask Mr. Davy about her, 
that's aU,»' 



CHAPTER XIV. 

WHEN I went to the class next time I was very 
eager to catch Mr. Davy, that I might explain 
to him where I had been, for I did not like acting with- 
out his cognizance. However, he was already down 
below when I arrived. My fair companions were both 
in their places, but, to my astonishment. Miss Benette 
took no notice of me. Her sweet face was as grave as 
it was before I caught from under those long lashes the 
azure light upon my own for the first time. Certain that 
she did not mean to offend me, I got on very well though, 
and Davy was very much pleased with our success. 

Little Laura looked very pale ; her hair was out of its 
curl, and altogether she had an appearance as if she had 
been dragged through a river, lost and forlorn, and 
scarcely sensible. She sang languidly, but Miss Benette's 
clinging tones would not suffer me to be aware of any 
except hers and my own. 

Davy taught us something about Gregorian chants, 
and gave us a few to practise, besides a new but ex- 
tremely simple service of his own. " He wrote that for 
us, I suppose," I ventured ; and Clara nodded seriously, 
but made no assent in words. Afterwards she seemed 
to remember me again as her ally ; for as Davy wished 
us his adieu in his wonted free " Good-night ! " she 
spoke to me of her own accord. 

" I think it was all the better that we practised." 

" Oh, was it not ? Suppose we practise again.*' 

VOL. I. — 7 



98 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

" I should like it, if you will come at the same time, 
and not stay longer; and Laura can come too, can 
she not ? " 

I did not exactly like this idea, but I could not con- 
tradict the calm, mellow voice. 

** Oh, if she will practise." 

"Of course she will practise if she comes on 
purpose." 

" I don't care about coming ! " exclaimed the child, 
in a low, fretful voice. " I know I sha'n't get out, either." 

"Yes, you shall; I will coax your papa. Look, 
Laura ! there he is, waiting for you." 

The child ran off instantly, with an air of fear over all 
her fatigue, and I felt sure she was not treated like a 
child ; but I said nothing about it then. 

" Sir," said I to Mr. Davy, " pray walk a little way, 
for I want to tell you something. My mother particu- 
larly requests that you will go to our house to sup with 
us this evening." 

" I will accept her kindness with the greatest pleasure, 
as I happen to be less engaged than usual." 

Davy never bent his duty to his pleasure, — rather 
the reverse. 

*' I went to practise with Miss Benette the day before 
yesterday." 

" So she told me." 

" She told you herself ? " 

" Yes, when she came to my house for her lesson last 
afternoon. I was very glad to hear it, because such 
singing as hers will improve yours. But I should like to 
tell your mother how she is connected with me." 

" How was it, sir?" 

" Oh ! I shall make a long story for her ; but enough 
for you that her father was very good to me when I was 



^ 



LENHART DA FY'S HISTOR K. 99 

an orphan boy and begged my way through Germany. 
He taught me all that I now teach you ; and when he 
died, he asked me to take care of his baby and his les- 
sons. She was only born that he might see her, and die." 

" Oh, sir, how strange ! Poor man ! he must have 
been very sorry." 

" He was not sorry to go, for he loved his wife, and 
she went first." 

" Oh, that was Miss Benette's mamma ? " 

" Yes, her lovely mamma." 

" Of course she was lovely. If you please, sir, tell 
me about her too." But Davy reserved his tale until we 
were at home. 

My mother fully expected him, it was evident ; for 
upon the table, besides the plain but perfecdy ordered 
meal we always enjoyed at about nine o'clock, stood the 
supernumerary illustrations — in honor of a guest — of 
boiled custards, puff pastry, and our choicest preserves. 
My mother, too, was sitting by the fire in a species of 
state, having her hands void of occupation and her 
pocket-handkerchief outspread. Millicent and Lydia 
wore their dahlia-colored poplin frocks, — quite a Sun- 
day costume, — and Clo revealed herself in purple silk, 
singularly adapted for evening wear, as it looked black 
by candle-light ! 

I never sat up to supper except on very select occa- 
sions. I knew this would be one, without being told so, 
and secured the next chair to my darling friend's. 

I would that I could recall, in his own expressive lan- 
guage, his exact relation of his own history as told to us 
that night. It struck us that he should so earnestly 
acquaint us with every incident, — at least, it surprised us 
then, but his after connection with ourselves explained 
it in that future. 



ICX) CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

No fiction could be more fraught with fascinating per- 
sonality than his actual life. I pass over his birth in 
England (and in London) , in a dark room over a dull 
book-shop, in his father's house. That father, from pure 
breeding and constitutional exclusiveness, had avoided 
all intercourse with his class, and conserved his social 
caste by his marriage only. I linger not upon his re- 
membrance of his mother, Sybilla Lenhart, — herself a 
Jewess, with the most exquisite musical ability, — nor 
upon her death in her only son's tenth year. 

His father's pining melancholy meantime deepened 
into an abstraction of misery on her loss. The world 
and its claims lost their hold, and he died insolvent when 
Lenhart was scarcely twelve. 

Then came his relation of romantic wanderings in 
Southern France and Germany, like a troubadour, or 
minnesinger, with guitar and song; of his accidental 
friendships and fancy fraternities, till he became choir- 
alto at a Lutheran church in the heart of the Eichen- 
Land. Then came the story of his attachment to the 
young, sage organist of that very church, who, in a fairy- 
like adventure, had married a count's youngest daughter, 
and never dared to disclose his alliance ; of her secret 
existence with him in the topmost room of an old house, 
where she never dared to look out of the window to the 
street for fear she should be discovered and carried back, 
— the etiquette requisite to cover such an abduction 
being quite alien from my comprehension, by the way, 
but so Davy assured us she found it necessary to abide ; 
of their one beautiful infant bom in the old house, and 
the curious saintly carving about its wooden cradle ; of 
the young mother, too hastily weaned from luxurious 
calm to the struggling dream of poverty, or at least un- 
certain thrift j of her fading, fal^ into a stealthy sick- 



CLARA BENETTE'S STORY, lOI 

ness, and of the night she lay (a Sunday night) and 
heard the organ strains swell up and melt into the moon- 
light from her husband's hand ; of Lenhart Davy's 
presence with her alone that night, unknowing, until the 
music-peal was over, that her soul had passed to heaven, 
as it were, in that cloud of music. 

But I must just observe that Davy made as light as 
possible of his own pure and characteristic decision, 
developed even in boyhood. He passed over, almost 
without comment, the more than elder brotherly care 
he must have bestowed on the beautiful infant, and 
dwelt, as if to divert us from that point, upon the woful 
cares that had pressed upon his poor friend, — upon his 
own trouble when the young organist himself, displaced 
by weakness from his position, made his own end, even 
as Lenhart's father, an end of sorrow and of love. 

Davy, indeed, merely mentioned that he had brought 
little Clara to England himself, and left her in London 
with his own mother's sister, whose house he always 
reckoned his asylum, if not his home. And then he 
told us of his promise to Clara's father that she should 
be brought up musically, and that no one should edu- 
cate her until she should be capacitated to choose her 
own masters, except Davy, to whom her father had im- 
parted a favorite system of his own. 

I remember his saying, in conclusion, to my mother : 
" You must think it strange, dear madam, that I brought 
Miss Benette away from London, and alone. I could 
not remain in London myself, and I have known for 
years that her voice, in itself, would become to her more 
than the expected heritage. My aunt taught her only 
to work. This was my stipulation; and she now not 
only supports herself by working, — for she is very inde- 
pendent, — but is in possession of a separate fund be- 



102 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

sides, which is to carry her through a course of complete 
instruction elsewhere, — perhaps in Italy or Germany." 

I saw how much my mother felt impressed by the dig- 
nity and self-reliance that so characterized him, but I 
scarcely expected she would take so warm an interest in 
his protegee. She said she should like to see some of 
Miss Benette's work ; and again I descanted on its beau- 
ties and varieties, supported by my hero, who seemed to 
admire it almost as much as I did. 

*' Then I may go and practise with Miss Benette? " 
I said, in conclusion. 

" Oh, certainly ; and you must ask her to come and 
see you some evening when Mr. Davy is kind enough to 
drink tea with us." 

" That curious little Laura too," thought I ; " they 
would not like her so well, I fancy. But though I do 
dislike her myself, I wish I could find out what they 
do with her." 

I was going to practise the day after the next, and 
methought I will then discover. 



CHAPTER XV. 

I TOOK a very small pot of honey for Miss Benette ; 
Millicent had begged it for me of Lydia, who was 
queen-bee of the store-closet. I ran all the way as 
usual, and was very glad to get in. The same freshness 
pervaded the staircase ; but when I reached the black 
door, I heard two voices instead of one. I was rather 
put out. " Laura is there ! I shall not like singing with 
her ; it is very tiresome ! " I stood still and listened ; 
it was very lovely. How ineffable music must be to the 
blind ! yet oh, to miss that which may be embraced by 
sight ! I knocked, and they did not hear me ; again — 
they both ceased singing, and Laura ran to the door. 
Instead of being dressed in her old clothes, she per- 
fectly startled me by the change in her costume, — a 
glittering change, and one from herself; for through it 
she appeared unearthly, and if not spiritual, something 
very near it. Large gauze pantaloons, drawn in at the 
ankles, looked like globes of air about her feet; her 
white silk slippers were covered with spangles ; so also 
was her frock, and made of an illusive material like 
clouds ; and her white sash, knotted at her side, was 
edged with silver fringe. Her amber necklace was no 
more there, but on her arms she had thick silver rings, 
with little clinking bells attached. She wore her hair, 
not in those stray ringlets, but drawn into two broad 
plaits, unfastened by knot or ribbon; but a silver net 
covered all her head behind, though it met not her fore- 



104 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

head in front, over whose wide, but low expanse, her im- 
mense eyes opened themselves like lustrous moons. 

** Miss Lemark," cried I, unfeignedly, " what are you 
going to do in that dress ? '* 

" Come, Master Auchester, do not trouble her ; she 
must be ready for her papa when he calls, so I have 
dressed her in order that she might practise with us." 

** Miss Benette," I answered, " I think it is most ex- 
tremely pretty, though very queer ; and I did not mean 
to tease her. I wish you would tell me why you put it 
on, though." 

" To dance in," said Laura, composedly. " I am go- 
ing to dance in ' Scheradez, or the Magic Pumpkin.' It 
is so pretty ! But Miss Benette is so kind to me ; she 
lets me have tea with her the nights I dance." 
But do you live in this house, then ? " 
Oh, I wish I did ! Oh, Clara, I wish I did live with 
you ! " and she burst into a fit of her tears. 

Miss Benette arose and came to her, laying down a 
piece of muslin she was embroidering. *' Do not cry, 
dear ; it will spoil your pretty frock, — besides, Master 
Auchester has come on purpose to sing, and you detain 
him." 

Laura instantly sat on a chair before the music-stand ; 
her diaphanous skirts stood round her like the petals of 
a flower, and with the tears yet undried she began to 
sing, in a clear little voice, as expressionless as her eyes, 
but as enchanting to the full as her easy, painless move- 
ments. It was very pleasurable work now, and Clara 
corrected us both, she all the while sustaining a pure 
golden soprano. 

" I am tired," suddenly said Laura. 

" Then go into the other room and rest a little. Do 
not ruffle your hair, which I have smoothed so nicely, 






THE DAXCE. IO5 

and be sure oot to £e down upoo tSie bed, or yoa wiH 
make those li^t sldits as fiat as pancakes.^ 

"How am I to rest, then ? " 

" In the great white chair." 

** But I don't want to sh stiH, — I only mean I am 
tired of singing. I want tc» dance my pas^ 

^Then go into the other room aH the same ; there is 
no carpet, — it is besL" 

" I don't like dancing in that room, it is so smaSL" 

"It is not smaller than this one. The bsX is, jpoa 
want to dance to Master Anchester." 

« Yes, so I do." 

" But he came to sing, not to see yoa." 

"I shoold like to see her dance, though,^ said L 
" Do let her. Miss Benette ! " 

" If you can stay. But do not begin the whole of 
Aat dance, Laura, — only the finale, because tliere will 
not be time ; and you will besides become too wann, if 
you dance from the beginning, for the cold air you must 
meet on your way to the theatre." 

Miss Benette's solemn manner had great authority 
over the child, it was certain. She waited until the 
elder had put aside the brown table, — " That you may 
not blow my bits of work about and tread up)on thera,'* 
she remarked. " Shall I sing for you, Laura? " 

" Oh, please do, pray do, Miss Benette ! '* I cried ; 
'*it will be so charming." 

She began gravely, as in the anthem, but with the 
same serene and genial perfection, to give the notes of 
a wild measure, in triple time, though not a waltz. 

Laura stood still and gazed upwards until the open- 
ing bars had sounded, then she sprang, as it were, into 
space, and her whole aspect altered. Her cheeks grew 
flushed as with a fiery impulse \ her arms were stretched, 



I06 CHARLES AU CHESTER, 

as if embracing something more ethereal than her own 
presence ; a suavity, that was almost languor, at the 
same time took possession of her motions. The figure 
was full of difficulty, the time rapid, the step absolutely 
twinkling. I was enraptured ; I was lost in this kind of 
wonder, — " How very strange that any one should call 
dancing wrong when it is like that 1 How extraordinary 
that every one does not think it lovely ! How mysteri- 
ous that no one should talk about her as a very great 
wonder ! She is almost as great a wonder as Miss 
Benette. I should like to know whether Mr. Davy 
has seen her dance." 

But though I called it dancing, as I supposed I must, 
it was totally unlike all that I had considered dancing 
to be. She seemed now suspended in the air, her feet 
flew out with the spangles like a shower of silver sparks, 
her arms were flung above her, and the silver bells, as 
she floated by me without even brushing my coat, 
clinked with a thrilling monotone against Clara's voice. 
Again she whirled backwards, and, letting her arms sink 
down, as if through water or some resisting medium, 
fell into an attitude that restored the undulating move- 
ment to her frame, while her feet again twinkled, and 
her eyes were raised. *' Oh ! " I exclaimed, " how 
lovely you look when you do that ! *' for the expression 
struck me suddenly. It was an illumination as from 
above, beyond the clouds, giving a totally different as- 
pect from any other she had worn. But lost in her 
maze, she did not, I believe, hear me. She quickened 
and quickened her footsteps till they merely skimmed 
the carpet, and, with a slide upon the very air, shook 
the silver bells as she once more arched her anus and 
made a deep and spreading reverence. Miss Benette 
looked up at me and smiled. 



MY PRESENT OF HONEY, 107 

" Now you must go ; it is your time, and 1 want to 
give Laura her tea." 

" I have brought you some honey, Miss Bcnctte. 
Will you eat it with your bread ? It is better than bon- 
bons, Miss Laura." 

" I did not care for the bonbons ; I only thought you 
would like them. They gave them to me at rehearsal." 

"Do you go to rehearsal, then, as well as the 
singers ? " 

"I go to rehearsal in the ballet ; and when there is 
no ballet I sing in the .chorus." 

" But you are so little : do you always dance ? " 

*' I am always to dance now ; I did not until this 
season." 

Her voice was dreamy and cold, the flash had al- 
ready faded ; she seemed not speaking with the slightest 
consciousness. 

** Do go, Master Auchester ! " and Clara looked at 
me from her azure eyes as kindly as if she smiled. " 1 )o 
go, or she will have no tea, and will be very tired. I 
am so much obliged to you for the sweet yellow honey ; 
I shall keep it in my closet, in that pretty blue jar." 

I would have the blue jar, though Lydia wanted me 
to take a white one. 

" Oh, pray eat the honey, and give me the jar to fill 
again ! I won't stay, don't be afraid, but good-night. 
Won't you let me shake hands with you, Miss Lcmark ? " 
for she still stood apart, like a reed in a sultry day. 
She looked at me directly. " Good-night, dear ! " I 
was so inexpressibly touched by the tone, or the man- 
ner, or the mysterious something — that haunted her 
dancing — in her, that I added, *' Shall I bring you 
some flowers next class-night?" 

*' If you please." 



I08 CHARLES AC/CHESTER. 

" Oh, do go, Master Auchester 1 I prayed you ten 
minutes ago." 

"I am gone." And so I was; and this time I was 
not too late for my own tea at home. 

There must be something startlingly perfect in that 
which returns upon the soul with a more absolute im- 
pression after its abstraction of our faculties has passed 
away. So completely had the fascination of those steps 
sufficed that I forgot the voice of Miss Benette, re- 
sounding all the time, and only associated in my recol- 
lection the silver monotone of • the clinking bells with 
the lulling undulation, the quivering feet. All night 
long, when I dreamed, it was so ; and when I awoke in 
the morning (as usual), I thought the evening before, 
a dream. 

I dared not mention Laura to any one except Milli- 
cent, but I could not exist without some species of 
sympathy ; and when I had finished all my tasks, I en- 
treated her to go out with me alone. She had some 
purchases to make, and readily agreed. It was a great 
treat to me to walk with her at any time. I cannot 
recollect how I introduced the subject, but I managed 
to ask somehow, after some preamble, whether my 
mother thought it wrong to dance in public, 

" Of course not," she replied, directly. " Some peo- 
ple are obliged to do so in order to live. They excel 
in that art as others excel in other arts, and it is a rare 
gift to possess the faculty to excel in that, as in all 
other arts." 

" So, Millicent, she would not mind my knowing a 
dance-artist any more than any other artist ? " 

*' Certainly it is the greatest privilege to know true 
artists; but there are few in the whole world. How 
few, then, there raust be in our little comer of it ! " 




I DESCRIBE LAURA'S DAXCING. I09 

" You call Mx. Davy an arbst, I suppose ? " 

^I think he pursues art as a student, who, having 
learned its fiist {xinciples for himself, is anxious to place 
others in possession of them before he himself soars into 
its higher mysteries. So far I call him philanthropist 
and aspirant, but scarcely an artist yet.'^ 

" Was our conductor an artist? " 

" Oh ! I should think so, no doubt Why did you 
ask me about artists, Charles?" 

" Oh, I suppose you would not call a little giri an 
artist if she were as clever as possible. There is a little 
girl at the class who sits very near me. She is a great 
favorite of Miss Benette. Such a curious child, Milli- 
cent! I could not endure her till yesterday evening. 
She was there when I went to practise, all ready dressed 
for the theatre. She looked a most lovely thing, — not 
like a person at all, but as if she could fly j and she 
wore such beautiful clothes ! " 

Millicent was evidently very much surprised. 

" She lives with Miss Benette, then, Charles? " 

" Oh, no ; for I asked her, and she said she wished 
she did. I should rather think somebody or other is 
unkind to her, for Miss Benette seems to pity her so 
much. Well, I was going to tell you, Millicent, she 
danced ! Oh, it was beyond everything ! You never saw 
anything so exquisite. I could hardly watch her about 
the room ; she quite swam, and turned her eyes upward. 
She looked quite different from what she was at the 
class." 

'* I should think so. I have always heard that stage 
dancing is very fascinating, but I have never seen it, you 
know ; and I do not think mother would hke you to see 
her often, for she considers you too young to go to a 
theatre at all." 



I lO CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

" Why should I be ? " 

" I don't know all her reasons, but the chief one I 
should suspect to be, is that it does not close until very 
late, and that the ballet is the last thing of all in the 
entertainment." 

" Yes, I know the ballet. Laura does dance in the 
ballet, she told me so. But she danced in the daylight 
when I saw her, so there could be no harm in it." 

" No harm ! There is no harm in what is beautiful ; 
but mother likes you to be fresh for everything you do 
in the daytime, and that cannot be unless you sleep 
early, no less than well. She asked me the other day 
whether I did not think you looked very pale the 
mornings after the classes." 

" Oh, what did you say? " 

" I said, ^ He is always pale, dear mother, but he 
never looks so refreshed by any sleep as when he comes 
down those mornings, I think.' " 

** Dear Millicent ! you are so kind, I shall never for- 
get it Now do come and call upon Miss Benette." 

"My dear Charles, I have never been introduced 
to her." 

" How formal, to be sure ! She would be so glad if we 
went j she would love you directly, — everybody does." 

"I do not wish they should, Charles. You must 
know very well I had better keep away. I do not be- 
long to the class, and if she lives alone, she of course 
prefers not to be intruded upon by strangers." 

" Of course not, generally. I am sure she ought not 
to live alone. She must be wanting somebody to speak 
to sometimes." 

" You are determined she shall have you, at all events." 

" Oh, no I I am nothing to her, I know ; but I can 
sing, so she likes me to go." 



DOES SHE LIVE ALONE? Ill 

" I suppose she is quite a woman, Charles ? " 

Oh , yes ! she is fourteen." 

" My dear Charles, she cannot live alone. She is but 
a child, then ; I thought her so much older than that." 

" Oh ! did not Mr. Davy say so the other night ? " 

" I did not notice ; I do not think so." 

" Oh ! he told me the first time I asked him about her." 

Millicent laughed again, as we went on, at the idea of 
her living alone. I still persisted it was a fact. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE next being our night, after dinner the next 
day I went to my garden. It was growing 
latest autumn, but still we had had no frosts. My 
monthly roses were in full bloom, my fuchsias flower- 
laden. Then I had a geranium or two, labelled with 
my name, in the little greenhouse. I gathered as many 
as I could hold in both my hands, and carried them into 
the parlor. 

" You have some flowers there/' said Clo, with 
condescension. 

** It is a pity to gather them when there are so few 
out," remarked Lydia, without lifting her eyes from her 
work. 

I took no notice of them. Millicent beckoned me 
out of the parlor. 

** I will give you some ribbon, Charles, if you will 
come to my room." 

So she did, and she arranged my flowers so as to 
infuse into their autumnal aspect the glow of summer, 
60 skilfully she grouped the crimson of the geraniums 
against the pale roses and purple stocks. I set forth, 
liolding them in my hand. For the first time, I met 
Davy before I went in. He shook hands, and asked me 
to come to tea with him on the morrow. 

Clara was there alone. She greeted me gravely, and 
yet I thought she would have smiled, had there not 
beeii something to make her grave. 



LA URA'S ILLNESS. 1 1 3 

" Miss Benette ! " I whispered, but she would not 
answer. 

Davy had just emerged below. We were making 
rapid progress. I always made way, not only because 
my ear was true and my voice pure, but because I was 
sustained by the purest voice and the truest ear in the 
class. But now the other voices grew able to support 
themselves, and nothing can be imagined more perfect 
in its way than the communion of the parts as they 
exactly balanced each other, — the separate voices toned 
down and blended into a full effect that extinguished 
any sensible difference between one and another. 

I am very matter of fact, I know ; but that is better 
than to be commonplace, — and not the same thing, 
though they are often confounded. If the real be the 
ideal, then is the matter of fact the true. This ghost of 
an aphorism stalked forth from my brain, whose cham- 
bers arc unfraught with book-lore as with worldly knowl- 
edge ; and to lay its phantomship, I am compelled to 
submit it to paper. 

I could not make Clara attend to me until all was 
over. Then she said to me of her own accord, — 

" Little Laura is ill ; she caught cold after she danced 
the other evening, and has been in bed since." 

" Will you have these flowers, then ? I am afraid they 
are half faded, though my hand is very cold." 

*' I will take them to Laura, — she has no flowers." 

" I am very sorry ; I hope it was not my fault, — I 
mean, I hope it did not tire her to dance before me 
first." 

" Oh, no ! it was her papa's fault for letting her come 
into the cold air without being well wrapped up. She 
had a shawl to put on, and a cloak besides, of mine ; 
but her papa gave them to somebody else." 

VOL. I. — 8 



1 1 4 CHARLES A U CHESTER, 



" How dreadfully unkind ! Is it her papa who did 
such a thing?" 

" Her own father. But look, Master Auchester, there 
is Mr. Davy beckoning to you. And I must go, — my 
nurse is waiting for me." 

" So is mine, downstairs. Have you a nurse too ? " 

" I call her so ; she came from Germany to find me, 
and now I take care of her." 

I was very anxious to see how Davy would address his 
adopted child, who numbered half his years, and I still 
detained her, hoping that he would join us. I was not 
mistaken ; for Davy, smiling to himself at my obstinate 
disregard of his salute, stepped up through the interven- 
ing forms. " So you would not come down, Charles I I 
wanted to ask you to come early, as I wish to try your 
voice with Miss Benette's. Come at least by five 
o'clock." 

He looked at Clara, and I looked at her. Without a 
smile upon her sweet face (but in the plenitude of that 
infantine gravity which so enchanted the not youngest 
part of myself), she bowed to him and answered, " If 
you please, sir. Then I am not to come in the 
morning ? " 

" Oh, yes, in the morning also, if you can spare time. 
You know why I wish to hear you sing together?" 

** Yes, sir, — you told me. Good night, Master 
Auchester, and, sir, to you." 

And she ran out, having replaced her black bonnet 
and long veil. Davy spoke a few words of gratified 
commendation in reference to our universal progress, 
and then, as the room was nearly empty, brought me 
downstairs. I asked him about Laura, 

" Oh ! she is not dangerously ill." 

" But I suppose she may be suffering," I added, in a 



£>AyY*S DEBT, 11$ 

sharp tone, for which I had been reproved times with- 
out number at home, 

" Why, as to that, we must all instruct ourselves to 
suffer. I am very sorry for my little pupil. She has 
had an attack of inflammation, but is only now kept 
still by weakness, Miss Benette tells me." 

" Miss Benette is very good to her, I think." 

" Miss Benette is very good to everybody," said 
Davy, earnestly, with a strange, bright meaning in his 
accent. I looked up at him, but it was too dark to 
see his expressive face, for now we were in the street 

" She is good to me, but could hardly be so to you, 
sir. She says you have done everything for her, and 
do still." 

" I try to do my duty by her ; but I owe to her 
more than I can ever repay." 

How curious, to be sure ! I thought, but I did not 
say so, there was a preventive hush in his tone and 
manner. 

" I should so like to know what we shall sing 
to-morrow." 

"So you shall, to-morrow; but to-night I scarcely 
know myself. I will come in with you, that I may 
obtain your mother's permission to run away with you 
again, — but not to another festival just yet; I could 
almost say, Would that it were ! ' " 

" I could quite, sir." 

" But we must make a musical feast ourselves, you 
and I." 

" Oh, sir ! pray let me be a side-dish." 

" That you shall be. But here we are." 

Supper was spread in our parlor, and my sisters 
looked a perfect picture of health, comfort, and in- 
terest, — three beatitudes of domestic existence. Lydia 



Il6 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

answered to the first, Clo to the second (she having 
fallen asleep in her chair by the charmingly brilliant 
fire), and dear Millicent, on our entrance, to the third ; 
for she looked half up and glowed, the firelight played 
upon her brow, but there was a gleam, more like moon- 
light, upon her lips as she smiled to welcome us. My 
mother, fresh firom a doze, sympathetic with Clo, ex- 
tended her hand with all her friendliness to Davy, and 
forced him to sit down and begin upon the plate she 
had filled, before she would suffer him to speak. It 
was too tormenting, but so it was, that she thought 
proper to send me to bed after I had eaten a slice of 
bread and marmalade, before he had finished eating. 
I gave Millicent a look into her eyes, however, which 
I knew she understood, and I therefore kept awake, 
expecting her after Margareth had put out my candle. 
My fear was lest my mother, dear creature, should 
come up first, for I still slept in a comer of her room ; 
but I knew Davy could not leave without my knowing 
it, as every sound passed into my brain from below. 
At last I listened for the steps, for which I was always 
obliged to listen, soft as her touch and gentle eyes, and 
I felt Millicent enter all in the dark. 

" Well, Charles ! " she began, as she put aside my 
curtain and leaned against my mattress, " it is another 
treat for you, though not so great a one as your first 
glory, and you will have to sustain your own credit 
rather more specially. Do you know the Priory, on 
the Lawborough Road, not a great way from Mr. 
Hargreave's factory?" 

" Yes, I know it ; what of that ? " 

" The Redferns live there, and the young ladies are 
Mr. Davy's pupils." 

" Not at the class, I suppose? " 



A MUSIC ALE. 117 

" No ; but Mr. Davy gives them singing lessons, and 
he says they are rather clever, though perhaps not too 
really musical. They are very fond of anything new ; 
and now they intend to give a large musical party, 
as they have been present at one during a stay they 
made in London lately. It is to be a very select 
party ; some amateur performers are expected, and 
Mr. Davy is going to sing professionally. Not only 
so, the young ladies' pianoforte master will be present, 
and most likely a truly great player, Charles, an 
artist, — the violinist Santonio." 

" Was he at the festival? " 

" Oh, no ! Mr. Davy says they have written to him 
to come from London. But now I must explain your 
part. Mr. Davy was requested to bring a vocal quartet 
from his class, as none of the guests can sing in parts. 
He is to take Miss Benette as a soprano, for he says her 
soprano is as superior as her lower voice." 

"So it is." 

" And some tenor or other." 
Mr. Newton, I daresay ; he leads all the others." 
I think it was. And you, Charles, he wishes to 
take, for he says your alto voice is very beautiful. You 
will do your best, I know." 

" I would do anything to hear a great violin-player." 

And full of the novel notion, I fell asleep much 
sooner than I did (as a child) when no excitement was 
before me. 






CHAPTER XVII. 

MY mother, besides being essentially an unworldly 
person, had, I think, given up the cherished idea 
of my becoming a great mercantile character, and even 
the expectation that I should take kindly to the prospec- 
tive partnership with Fred ; for certainly she allowed me 
to devote more time to my music tasks with Millicent 
than to any others. I owe a great deal to that sister 
of mine, and particularly the early acquaiintance I made 
with intervals, scales, and chords. Already she had 
taught me to play from figured basses a little, to read 
elementary books, and to write upon a ruled slate 
simple studies in harmony. 

Hardly conscious who helped me on, I was helped 
very far indeed. Other musicians, before whom I bow, 
have been guided in the first toneless symbols and 
effects of tone by the hand, the voice, the brain of 
women ; but they have generally been famous women. 
My sister was a quiet girl. Never mind; she had a 
fame of her own at last. Davy, considering I was in 
progress, said no more about teaching me himself, and 
indeed it was unnecessary. I was certainly rather 
surprised at my mother's permission for me to accom- 
pany him to the Redfems', first and chiefly because I 
had never visited any house she did not fi-equent her- 
self, and she had never been even introduced to this 
family, though we had seen them in their large pew at 
church, and I was rather fond of watching them, — 



TEA AGAIN, II9 

they being about our choicest gentry. For all the 
while I conceived I should be a visitor, and that each 
of us would be on the same footing. 

Had I not been going to accompany Davy, I should 
have become nervous at the notion of attending a great 
party met at a ^hionable house ; but as it was, it did 
but conceal for me a glorious unknown, and I exulted 
while I trembled a littie at my secret heart 

But I went to my master as he had requested, and 
he let me into his shell. I smelt again that delicious 
tea, and it exhilarated me as on the first occasion. 
Upstairs, in the litde room, was Miss Benette. She 
was dressed as usual, but I tliought she had never 
worn anything yet so becoming as that plain black 
silk frock. The beautiful china was upon the table, 
now placed for three ; and child as I was, I could not 
but feel most exquisitely the loveliness of that simplicity 
which rendered so charming and so convenient the 
association of three ages so incongruous. 

There are few girls of fourteen who are women 
enough to comport themselves with the inbred dignity 
that appertains to woman in her highest development, 
and there are few women who retain the perfume and 
essence of infancy. These were flung around Clara in 
every movement, at each snjile or glance; and those 
adorned her as with regality, — a regality to which one 
is bom, not with which one has been invested. She 
did not make tea for Davy, nor did she interfere with 
his little arrangements ; but she sat by me and talked 
to me spontaneously, while she only spoke when he 
questioned, or listened while he spoke. 

There was perfect serenity upon her face, — yes I just 
the serenity of a cloudless heaven ; and had I been 
older, I should have whispered to myself that her peace 



120 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

of soul was all safe, so far as he was concerned. But 
I did not think about it, though I might naturally have 
done so, for I was romantic to intensity, even as a boy. 

"How is Miss Lemark?'' I suddenly inquired, while 
Davy was in the other little room. I forgot to men- 
tion that my surmise was well founded, — he had no 
servant 

" She is much better, thank you, or I should not have 
come here. The flowers look very fresh to-day, and 
she lies where she can see them." 

"When will she get up?'' 

" I have persuaded her to remain in bed even longer 
than she needs ; for the moment she gets up they will 
make her dance, and she is not strong enough for 
that yet." 

Davy here returned, and we began to sing. We had 
a delicious hour. In that small room Clara's voice 
was no more too powerfully perceptible than is the 
sunlight in its entrance to a tiny cell, — that glory 
which itself is the day of heaven. She sang with the 
most rarefied softness, and I quite realized how infin- 
itely she was my superior in art no less than by 
nature. 

What we chiefly worked upon were glees, single 
quartet pieces, and an anthem ; but last of all, Davy 
produced two duets for soprano and alto, — one from 
Purcell, the other from a very old opera, the hundred 
and something one of the Hamburg Kaiser, which our 
master had himself copied from a copy. 

" Shall you sing with us in all the four-parted pieces, 
sir?" I ventured to ask during the symphony of this 
last. 

" Yes, certainly ; and I shall accompany you both in- 
variably. But of all things do not be afraid, nor trouble 



LOXG PRACTICE. 121 

yourselves the least about singing in company : nothing 
is so easy as to sing in a high room like that of the Red* 
ferns*, and nothing is so difficult as to sing in a small 
room like this." 

'' I do not find it so difficult, sir/' said Clara, gravely. 

"That is because, Miss Benette, you have already 
had your voice under perfect control for months. You 
have been accustomed to practise nine hours a day 
without an instrument, and nothing is so self-supporting 
as such necessity." 

" Yes, sir, it is very good, but not so charming as to 
sing with your sweet piano." 

"Do you reaUy practise nine hours a day, Miss 
Benette ? " 

" Yes, Master Auchester, always ; and I find it not 
enough." 

" But do you practise without a piano ? " 

" Yes, it is best for me ; but when I come to my les- 
sons and hear the delightful keys, I feel as if music had 
come out of heaven to talk with me." 

" Ah, Miss Benette ! " said Davy, with a kind of ex- 
ultation, " what will it be when you are singing in the 
heart of a grand orchestra ? " 

" I never heard one, sir, you know ; but I should 
think that it was like going into heaven after music and 
remaining there." 

" But were you not at the festival, Miss Benette ? " 

" Oh, no ! " 

" How very odd, when I was there I " 

Davy looked suddenly at her ; but though his quick, 
bright glance might have startled away her answer, that 
came as calmly as all her words, — like a breeze awak' 
ening from the south. 

" I did not desire to go ; Mr. Davy had the kindness 



122 CHARLES AC/CHESTER. 

to propose I should, but I knew it would make me idle 
afterwards, and I cannot afford to waste my time. I am 
growing old." 

" Now, Miss Benette, there is our servant or your 
nurse," for I heard a knock. *'Will you let me come 
to-morrow ? " 

" Just for half an hour only, because I want to sit 
with Laura." 

" I thank you ; thank you ! " 

" How did you get home last night ? " I asked, on the 
promised meeting. She was sitting at the window, 
where the light was strongest, for her delicate work was 
in her hand ; and as the beams of a paler sun came in 
upon her, I thought I had seen something like her some- 
where before in a picture as it were framed in a dusky 
comer, but itself making for its own loveliness a shrine 
of light. Had I travelled among studios and galleries, I 
must have been struck by her likeness to those rich-hued 
but fairest ideals of the sacred schools of painting which 
have consecrated the old masters as worshippers of the 
highest in woman ; but I had never seen anything of the 
kind except in cold prints. That strange reminiscence 
of what we never have really seen, in what we at present 
behold, appertains to a certain temperament only, — that 
temperament in which the ideal notion is so definite 
that all the realities the least approximating thereunto 
strike as its semblances, and all that it finds beautiful it 
compares so as to combine with the beautiful itself. I 
do not suppose I had this consciousness that afternoon, 
but I perfectly remember saying, before Clara rose to 
welcome me as she always did, " You look exactly like a 
picture.'^ 

" Do I ? But no people in pictures are made at work. 
Oh, it is very unpicturesque I " and she smiled. 



LONG QUESTIONS, SHORT ANSWERS. 123 

" I am not going to sing, Miss Benette ; there is no 
time in just half an hour." 

" I must practise, Master Auchester ; I cannot afford 
to lose my half hours and half hours." 

" But I want to ask you some questions. Now do 
answer me, please." 

"You shall make long questions, then, and I short 



answers." 



She began to sing her florid exercises, a paper of 
which lay open upon the desk, in Davy's hand. 

" Well, first I want to know why are they unkind to 
Laura, and what they do to her which is unkind." 

" It would not be unkind if Laura were altogether like 
her father, as she is in some respects, because then she 
would have no feeling ; but she has the feeling of which 
her mother died." 

" That is a longer answer than I expected, but not 
half enough; I want to know so much more. How 
pretty your hands are, — so pink I " I remarked admir- 
ingly, as I watched the dimples in them, and the infan- 
tinely rounded fingers, as they spread so softly amidst 
the delicate cambric. 

" So are yours very pretty hands, Master Auchester, 
and they are very white too. But never mind the hands 
now. I should like to tell you about Laura, because if 
you become a great musician you will perhaps be able 
to do her a kindness.^' 

" What sort of kindness ? " 

" Oh, I cannot say, my thoughts do not tell me ; but 
any kindness is great to her. She has a clever father, 
but he has no more heart than this needle, though he is 
as sharp and has as clear an eye. He made his poor 
little wife dance even when she was ill ; but that was be- 
fore I knew Laura. When I came here from London 



124 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

with Mr. Davy, I knew nobody ; but one evening I was 
singing and working while Thon^ (that is my nurse) was 
gone out to buy me food, when I suddenly heard a great 
crying in the street. I went downstairs and opened the 
door, and there I found a little girl, with no bonnet upon 
her head, who wore a gay frock all covered with artificial 
flowers. My nurse was there too. Thon^ can't talk 
much English, but she said to me, * Make her speak. I 
found her sitting down in the gutter, all bathed in tears.' 

" Then I said, in my English, * Do tell me why you 
were in the streets, pretty one, and why you wear these 
fine clothes in the mud.' 

" ' Oh, I cannot dance,' she cried, and sobbed ; * my 
feet are stiif with standing all this morning, and if I try 
to begin before those lamps on that slippery floor, I shall 
tumble down.' 

" * You have run away fi-om the theatre,' I said ; and 
then I took her upstairs in my arms (for she was very 
light and small), and gave her some warm milk. Then, 
when she was hushed, I said, * Were you to dance, then ? 
It is very pretty to dance : why were you fi-ightened ? ' 

" ' I was so tired. Oh, I wish I could go to my 
mamma ! * 

" ' I asked her where she was ; and she began to shake 
her head and to tell me her mamma was dead. But in 
the midst there was a great knocking at the door down- 
stairs. Laura was dreadfully alarmed, and screamed; 
and while she was screaming, in came a great man, his 
face all bedecked with paint. I could not speak to him, 
he would not hear me, nor could we save the child then ; 
for he snatched her up (all on the floor as she was), and 
carried her downstairs in his arms. He was very big, 
certainly, and had a fierce look, but did not hurt her ; 
and as I ran after him, and Thond after me, we saw him 



LAURA'S FATHER, 125 

put her into a close coach and get in after her, and 
then they drove away. I was very miserable that night, 
for I could not do anything for the poor child ; but I 
went the first thing the next morning to the theatre that 
had been open the evening before. Thon6 was with 
me, and took care of me in that wild place. At last I 
made out who the little dancing-girl was and where she 
lived, and then I went to that house. Oh, Master 
Auchester ! I thought my house so still, so happy after 
it. It was full of noise and smells, and had a look 
that makes me very low. — a look of discomfort all 
about. I said I wanted the manager, and half a dozen 
smart, dirty people would have shown me the way ; but 
I said, ' Only one, if you please.' 

"Then some young man conducted me upstairs into 
a greasy drawing-room. Thond did not like my staying, 
but I would stay, although I did not once sit down. 
The carpet was gay, and there were muslin curtains ; 
but you. Master Auchester, could not have breathed 
there. I felt ready to cry; but that would not have 
helped me, so I looked at the sky out of the window till 
I heard some one coming in. It was the great man. 
He was selfish-looking and vulgar, but very polite to me, 
and wanted me to sit upon his sofa. ' No,' I said, ' I 
am come to speak about the little girl who came to my 
house last night, and whom I was caring for when you 
fetched her away* And I want to know why she was 
so afraid to dance, and so afraid of you?' 

" The man looked ready to eat me, but Thon^ (who 
is a sort of gypsy, Master Auchester) kept him down with 
her grand looks, and he turned off into a laugh, — ' I 
suppose I may do as I please with my own child ! ' 

'''No, sir!' I said, *not if you are an unnatural 
father, for in this good land the law will protect her; 



126 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

and if you do not promise tx> treat her well, I am going 
to the magistrate about it I suppose she has no mother ; 
now, I have none myself, and I never see anybody ill- 
treated who has no mother without trying to get them 
righted.' 

'* ' You are a fine young lady to talk to me so. Why, 
you are a child yourself ! * Who said I was unkind to my 
Laura ? She must get her hving, and she can't do bet- 
ter than dance, as her mother danced before her. I 
will send for her, and you shall hear what she will say 
for herself this morning.' 

^ He shouted out upon the landing, and presently 
the child came down. I was surprised to see that 
she looked happy, though very tired. I said, * Are you 
better to-day ? ' 

" ' It was very nice,' she answered, * and they gave 
me such pretty flowers ! ' 

'• Then we talked a long time. I shall tire you, Master 
Auchester, if I tell you all ; but I found myself not know- 
ing what to do, for though the cliild had been made to 
go through a great deal of suflfering — almost all dancers 
must — yet she did so love the art that it was useless to 
try and coax her out of her services for it. All I could 
do, then, was to entreat her papa not to be severe \^dth 
her, if even he was obliged to be strict ; and then (for 
he had told me she danced the night before, tlie first 
time in pubhc) I added to herself, * You must try to 
deserve the flowers they give you, and dance your very 
best And if you practise well when you are learning in 
the mornings, it will become so easy that you will not 
find it any pain at all, and very little fatigue.' 

" Her papa, I could see, was not ill-humored, but very 
selfish, and would make the most of his clever little 
daughter ; so I would not stay any longer, lest he should 



A SELFISH FATHER, 12/ 

forget what I had said. He was rather more polite 
again before I went away, and in a day or two I sent 
Thon^ with a note to Laura, in which I asked her to tea 
— and, for a wonder, she carae. I am tiring you. 
Master Auchester ? " 

" Oh ! do please, for pity's sake, go on, Miss Benette ! " 

"Well, when she came with Thone, she was dressed 
much as she dresses at the class, and I have not been 
able yet to persuade her to leave off that ugly neck- 
lace. She talked to me a great deal. She was not made 
to suffer until after her mother's death, for her mother 
was so tender of her that she would allow no one to 
touch her but herself. She taught her to dance, though \ 
and little Laura told me so innocently how she used to 
practise by the side of her mother's sick bed, for she lay 
ill for many months. She had caught a cold — as Laura 
did the other night — after a great dance, in which she 
grew very warm ; and at last she died of consumption. 
She had brought her husband a good deal of money, 
and he determined to make the most of it as soon as 
she was dead ; for he brought Laura on very fast by 
teaching her all day, and torturing her too, though I 
really believe he thought it was necessary." 

'* Miss Benette ! " 

"Yes; for such persons as he have not sensations 
fine enough to let them understand how some can be 
made to suffer delicately." 

" Oh, go on ! " 

" Well, she was just ready to be brought out in a kind 
of fairy ballet, in which children are required, the night 
the theatre opened this season." 

" And it was then she ran away ? " 

" Yes ; when she got into the theatre she took fright/' 

'* Did she dance that night, after all ? " 



128 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

" Oh, yes ! and she liked it very much, for she is very 
excitable and very fond of praise. Besides, she has a 
very bright soul, and she was pleased with the sparkling 
scenery. As she described it, ' It was all roses, and crys- 
tal, and beautiful music going round and round.' She 
is a sweet little child when you really know her, and as 
innocent as the two little daughters of the clergyman at 
St. Anthony's who go every day past hand in hand, with 
their white foreheads and blue eyes, and whose mamma 
sleeps by Laura's, in the same churchyard. Well, she 
came to me several times, and at last I persuaded her 
papa to let her drink tea with me, and it saves him 
trouble, so he is very glad she should. It is the end of 
the season now, so I hope he will give her a real 
holiday, and she will get quite strong." 

" He fetches her, then, to go to the theatre ? " 

" Yes ; it is not any trouble to him, for he calls on an- 
other person in this lane, and they all go together." 
Do you know that person ? " 

Oh, no ! and Laura does not like her. But as Laura 
is obliged to see a good deal of low people, I like her 
sometimes to see high people, that her higher nature 
may not want food." 

" I understand. Was that the reason she joined the 
class?" 

" I persuaded her papa to allow her, by assuring him it 
would improve her voice for singing in the chorus ; and 
now he comes himself, though I rather suspect it is be- 
cause he likes to know all that is going on in the town." 

" She goes home with him, then ? " 

"Yes. The reason you saw Laura in her dancing- 
dress was that you might like her. I bade her bring it, 
and put it on her myself. I did not tell her why, but I 
wished you to see her too." 



n 



^ 



€t 



THEN I SHALL BE ALL EEAUTtmLr \tt) 



" But why did you wish me to like her, }Am IJcnctU? ? '' 

*' As I told you before, — that you fnay l>c kind to her \ 
and also that she might sec tfomc one yGX") gcnilc; 1 
wished her to be here with you/' 

" Am I gentle, do you consider? '' 

" I think you are a young gentleman^'' »ti« an^^^ed, 
with her sweet gravity* 

''But I do not see bow Jt could d^ h«rr ^^^ irMi^ily 
to see gentle pexsons.^ 

'^Doiiotyoa? I do ; I U£ere f^ wi0 »^^ t>$«40«Mr 
nrrgencfe b^ fifing with tns^Mitk: jM«:r$6«if^^ an^ ^ 4(r/^ 
£iii rsszst, if sis£ OBsce ksKi>w$ wfs^ g^$i^ y(sf^>;(jfm m^, 
I m£[^ be 211 wnsG^ kst itSm »i wtet I f>e&$:^« ; aift4 #{>«$# 

'lojilxi HOC id^' it — "*! t&inic jriii^ ^ac*: ^wn mi^'^ 

3iier cHHfixi &jer Mk: e?es: femi i^ ^utrfo#y fesf^ <^ 
dieir lasiifia. snf aasxi dieat a^iiat die: f^lim^ ^sy ^iMmdl^ 
lieriv^irL tSffiL wit&mt 2t auiie :: Iku: Ii«r lirt 
irea 'iviitL die: ligfe (5t whicix. smiies: ^ice: idfity ^fe iJ^jMfeHf 
ia die wjniifc of Mgrmn,. hiu: vvitlv iio^ ^E^i^tT ^ j^jgiiit' 
caics: : •* I ^i«siL £ weni .me ! * dien J5in^ csn^. '**h<^i*sttW^ 
dien Z ihail le caL ieamiui. ^thont ;jnd \v«!ttiin- itti5;- 3b<? 
.'er, aa : I wmiti mjc jeja .io^,: rBr T cs^wiUi lUST tti^rt^ 
^mt^ n inr ([dasfc ! '*' 

r saii^^ied. ant^ with: die mcwr ^}eTXer*x !5i?tnj5^ti5? in h^ 
sentiment :: snf dien. 5Jie jmj^herL ;inH livsk^ it mi5^ 
r^-jirrlr is. hl 'iiianr tcMS n. iiurrhliii ;iJsiv. 

* \\iv9r. vlks. 362i«te, ineiTiore iiie5;ttot. Mil IW^? 
o.;i Tie hct ither m^hr rtisr ^ym. iiad drnw? :ti«i ;i^yvk 
■ Vhrxt. I if t ! ve. merai r" ' 

•^ :. lo not iunk- r caeix- teE- voa. .»h^. I- )«:tkv^- lu^ 



I30 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

meant, because you might mention it to him ; and if he 
did not mean that, he would think me silly, and I would 
not seem silly to him." 

'* Now, do pray tell me ! Do you suppose I can go 
home unless you will? You have made me so dreadfully 
curious. I should not think of telling him you had told 
me. Now, what did you do for him that made him say 
so?" 

She replied, with an innocence the sister of which I 
have never seen through aU my dreams of woman, — 

" Mr. Davy was so condescending as to ask me one 
day whether I would be his wife, — sometime when I am 
grown up. And I said. No. I think that was the good 
I did him." 

I shall never forget the peculiar startled sensation that 
stnick through me. I had never entertained such a no- 
tion, or any notion of the kind about anybody; and 
about her it was indeed new, and to me almost an awe. 

** The good you did him, Miss Benette ! " I cried in 
such a scared tone that she dropped her work into her 
lap. " I should have thought it would have done him 
more good if you had said, Yes." 

" You are very kind to think so," she replied, in a 
tone like a confiding child's to a superior in age, — far 
from like an elder's to one so young as myself, — " but I 
know better. Master Auchester. It was the only thing 
I could do to show ray gratitude." 

" Were you sorry to say No, Miss Benette ? " 

" No ; very glad and very pleased." 

" But it is rather odd. I should have thought you 
would have liked to say, Yes. You do not love him, 
then?" 

" Oh ! yes, I do, well. But I do not wish to belong to 
him, nor to any one, — only to music now ; and besides, 



" KNO WN OF music:* 1 3 1 

I should not have had his love. He wished to marry 
me that he might take care of me. But when he said 
so, I answered, ' Sir, I can take care of myself/ " 

"But, Miss Benette, how much should one love, and 
how, then, if one is to marry? For I do not think all 
people marry for love ! " 

" You are not old enough to understand, and I am 
not old enough to tell you," she said sweetly, with her 
eyes upon her work as usual, *' nor do I wish to know. 
If some people marry not for love, what is that to me ? 
I am not even sorry for them, — not so sorry as I am for 
those who know not music, and whom music does not 
know." 

*' Oh ! they are worse off ! " I involuntarily exclaimed. 
" Do you think I am * known of music,' Miss Benette ? " 

" I daresay ; for you love it, and will serve it. I 
cannot tell further, I am not wise. Would you like to 
have your fortune told?" 

" Miss Benette ! what do you mean? You cannot tell 
fortunes ! " 

" But Thond can. She is a gypsy, — a real gypsy, 
Master Auchester, though she was naughty, and married 
out of her tribe." 

" What tribe ? " 

" Hush ! " said Clara, whisperingly ; " she is in my 
other room at work, and she would be wroth if she 
thought I was talking about her." 

" But you said she cannot speak English." 

" Yes j but she always has a feeling when I am speak- 
ing about her. Such people have, — their sympathies 
are so strong." 

Now, it happened we had often talked over gypsies 
and their pretensions in our house, and various had been 
the utterances of our circle. Lydia doomed them all as 



132 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

kaposxcn : my mother, wbo had best an ideal doCbod oC 
them, coQsidered, a3 many do^ that tfaey somefaow' per- 
taincd to I^raeL CTo preaxmed they were Egyptian, be- 
caose 01 their cootoar and their skill in pottery, — thoogh, 
^>y the way, she had oerer read npon the sobject, as she 
always averred. But Millicent was sofficient for me at 
once, niien she had said one day, *^ At least they are a 
distinct race, and possess in an eminent degree the ^urnlty 
of enforcing faith in the supemataral by the exercise 
of physical and ^iritual gifts that cmly act upon the 
marvenoas.*^ 

I always understood Millicent, whatever she said, and 
I had often talked with her about thenu I rather sus- 
pect she believed them in her heart to be Chaldean. 
I must confess, notwithstanding, that I was rather ner- 
vous when Miss Benette announced, with such child- 
like assurance, her intuitive credence in their especial 
ability to dLscem and decipher destiny. 

I said, ** Do you think she can, then ? " 

" Perhaps it is vulgar to say * tell fortunes,' but what I 
mean is, that she could teD, by casting her eyes over 
you, and looking into your eyes, and examining your 
brow, what kind of life you are most fit for, and what 
you would make out of it." 

" Oh, how I should like her to tell me I " 

" She shall, then, if she may come in. But your half- 
hour has passed." 

*' Oh, do just let me stay a little ! " 

" You shall, of course, if you please, sir ; only do not 
feel obliged." 

She arose and walked out of the room, closing the 
door. 1 could catch her tones through the wall, and 
she returned in less than a minute. There was some- 
thing startling, almost to appall, in the countenance of 



THE GYPSY. 133 

the companion she ushered, coming close behind her. 
I can say that that countenance was all eye, — a vivid 
and burning intelligence concentred in orbs whose dark- 
ness was really light, flashing from thence over every 
feature. Thond was neither a gaunt nor a great wo- 
man, though tall ; her hands were beautifully small and 
slender, and though she was as brunette as her eye was 
dark, she was clear as that darkness was itself light. 
The white cap she wore contrasted strangely with that 
rich hue, like sun-gilt bronze. She was old, but mod- 
elled like a statue, and her lips were keen, severe, and 
something scornful. It was amazing to me to see how 
easily Miss Benette looked and worked before this 
prodigy; I was speechless. Thon^ took my hand in 
hers, and feeling I trembled, she said some quick words 
to Clara in a species of Low German, whose accent I 
could not understand, and Clara replied in the same. 
I would have withdrawn my hand, for I was beginning 
to fear something dreadful in the way of an oracle, 
but Thone led me with irrepressible authority to the 
window. Once there, she fastened upon me an almost 
feeling glance, and having scanned me a while, drew out 
all my fingers one by one with a pressure that cracked 
every sinew of my hand and arm. At last she looked 
into my palm, but made no muttering, and did not 
appear trying to make out anything but the streaks 
and texture of the skin. It could not have been ten 
minutes that had passed when she let fall my hand, and 
addressing Clara in a curt, still manner, without smile 
or comment, uttered in a voice whose echoes haunt 
me still, — for the words were rare as music, — " Ton- 
kunst und Arzenei." ^ 

I knew enough of German to interpret these, at all 

^ Music and medicine. 



r*fwitvcHmu :lic^ ii?:n^ niiesfi ttnth. 

Omx iJiniruarhert Tie -^Jtes: jym; «aunfsL]^ Kiski: 

.^e ^miied -^vwtti ^M^esr mischied- 

^eiher x :r :ft le lae ir im; E ttnnk x :» x TerTr^asnE 
thitiMie >v Mt -xuiL- Kto ^ie tnkt wui ^msr ' 

•*''^^ ^»ih»n. : iC Lease iifc mucit is iiiit otiiiL wde cdkndi 

**^ C ml a«k lier^'* 

i^e iirt«*ri -iv vir ^rohc Jite nut szcfe:. (Die ne- 

ibr ^^e 5»»t«r K^jfUv.. I t^iier* Tie jEwt^ because- tsbc IteciHK 

•^ ' <^>r^"t IbiiVJr ^'jasat ifctt: nufiassv'' 

*■'■ <y^^ Mii» fesieiae, ysw <«&> !! * For Bner ssxh aniiie 

'*' S> I <i«> < t>«S, MaaiCfiT AncbsxLtz^ k s Jdttan^ tot 
hi^f "-* ^^>^ f»ir8$t ^^ mAt^ I fisi;aT grre poca scrou^ tteau 
Ar^ ^<^>^ fy»o<ber wmM Wi6: j&i to be iaomc^ Hao^ 

I WMUkA Uf 5ilsaike hanrb with her, bat siie made dd 
iA¥/w iA willm^pieiw^ $o I did not dare, and instanAr I 
^krp^tflerL What a wonderfal spell it was that bGond 
fi»e Uy the dnll lane at the end of the town ! Cdtainlf 
H J!^ <;^it iA English life in En(^snd one most gp for die 
my^icricn ami realities of existence* I was just in time 
for oiif tca« As I walked into the parlor the fire shone, 
itnd »o did the kettle^ tinging to itself; for in our Eog- 



/ ABJURE FROCKS, 1 3 5 

lish life we eschewed uras. Clo was reading, Lydia at 
the board, Millicent was cutting great slices of home- 
made bread. I thought to myself, " How differently 
we all manage here ! If Millicent did but dare, I know 
she would behave and talk like Miss Benette." 

" How is the young lady this afternoon, Charles? I 
wish you to ask her to come and drink tea with us on 
Sunday after service." 

" Yes, mother; is Mr. Davy coming? " 

" He promised the other night." 

" And Charles," added Clo, " do not forget that you 
must go with me to-morrow and be measured for a 
jacket." 

" I am to wear one at last, then? " 

"Yes, for now you are really growing too tall for 
frocks." 

I was very glad ; for I abjured those braided gar- 
ments, compassing about my very heels with bond- 
age, with utter satisfaction. Still, I was amused. " I 
suppose it is for this party I am going to," thought I. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE next day at class, Laura's place still being 
empty, I watched eagerly for Clara. The people 
were pouring in at the door, and I, knowing their faces, 
could not but feel how unlike she was to them all, when 
in the way she appeared, so bright in her dark dress, 
with her cloudless forehead and air of ecstatic inno- 
cence. She spoke to me to-day. 

" How are you ? " 

"Quite well; and you, Miss Benette? But I want 
you to listen to me presently ; seriously, I have some- 
thing to say." 

" I '11 wait," and she took her seat. 

Davy extolled our anthem, and did not stop us once, 
which fact was unprecedented. We all applauded him 
when he praised us, at which he laughed, but was evi- 
dently much pleased. In fact, he had already made for 
himself a name and fame in the town, and the antago- 
nistic jealousy of the resident professors could not cope 
therewith, without being worsted ; they had given him 
up, and now let him alone, — thus his sensitive nature 
was less attacked, and his energy had livelier play. 
When the class divided. Miss Benette looked round at 
me : "I am at your service, Master Auchester." 

I gave her my mother's message. She was sweet and 
calm as ever, but still grave, and she said, " I am very 
grateful to your mother, and to those young ladies your 
sisters ; but I never do go anywhere out to tea." 



A CONVERSATION WITH MILL/CENT, 1 37 

" But, Miss Benette, you are going to that party at the 
Redferns*." 

** I am going to sing there, — that is different. It is 
very hard to me not to come, but I must not, because J 
have laid it upon myself to do nothing but study until 
I come out. Because, you see, if I make friends now, 
I might lose them then, for they might not like to know 
me." 

" Miss Benette 1 " — I stamped my foot — " how dare 
you say so ? We should always be proud to know you.'* 

" I cannot tell that," she retorted j " it might be, or it 
might not Perhaps you will think I am right one day. 
I should like to have come," she persisted bewitchingly. 
But I was inwardly hurt, and I daresay she thought me 
outwardly sulky, for it was all I could do to wish her 
good-evening like a "young gentleman," as she had 
called me. 

I said to Millicent, when we were walking the next 
morning, that I had had my fortune told. We had a 
long conversation. I saw she was very anxious to dis- 
abuse me of the belief that I must necessarily be what, 
in myself, I had always held myself ready to become, 
and I laughed her quite to scorn. 

"But, Charles," she remonstrated, "if this is to 
be, you must be educated with a direct view to those 
purposes." 

" So I shall be ; but when she said medicine she did 
not mean I should be an apothecary, Millicent," and I 
laughed the more. 

" No, I rather think it is music you ought to profess. 
But in that case you will require high as well as pro- 
found instruction." 

" I mean to profess an instrument, and I mean to go 
to Germany and learn all about it." 



138 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

" My dear boy ! " 

^' Yes, I do, and I know I shall ; bat as I have not 
chosen my instrument yet, I shall wait'' 

Millicent herself laughed heartily at this. " Would 
you like to learn the horn, Charles? or the flute? or 
perhaps that new instrument, the ophicleide ? ' And so 
the subject dwindled into a joke for that while. I then 
told her in strict confidence about Laura. I scarcely 
ever saw her so much excited to interest \ she evidendy 
almost thought Clara herself angelic, and to my delight 
she at length promised to call with me upon her, if I 
would ascertain that it would be convenient. I shall 
never forget, too, that Millicent begged for me fi-om my 
mother some baked apples, some delicate spiced jelly, 
and some of her privately concocted lozenges, for 
Laura. I do think my mother would have liked to dis- 
pense these last i la largesse among the populace. I 
carried these treasures in a small basket to Miss Benette, 
and saw her just long enough to receive her assurance 
that she should be so pleased if my sister would come 
and look at her work. 

Sweet child ! as indeed she was by the right of Ge- 
nius (who, if Eros be immortal youth, hath alone im- 
mortal fancy), — she had laid every piece of her beauteous 
work, every scrap of net or cambric, down to that very 
last handkerchief, upon the table, which she had covered 
with a crimson shawl, doubtless some relic of her luxu- 
rious mother conserved for her. And with the instinct 
of that ideal she certainly created in her life, she had in- 
terspersed the lovely manufactures with little bunches of 
wild-flowers and green, and a few berries of the wild rose- 
tree, ripe and red. 

I was enchanted. I was proud beyond measure to 
introduce to her my sister; proud of them both. 



THE PRESENT OF A VEIL, 1 39 

Millicent was astonished, amazed ; I could see she was 
quite puzzled with pleasure, but more than all she seemed 
lost in watching Clara's calm, cloudless face. 

" Which of the pieces do you like best? " asked Miss 
Benette at last, after we had fully examined all. 

" Oh ! it is really impossible to say ; but if I could pre- 
fer, I should t»nfess, perhaps, that this is the most ex- 
quisitely imagined ; " and 2dillicent pointed to a veil of 
thin white net, with the border worked in the most deli- 
cate shades of green floss silk, a perfect wreath xsf myrtle- 
leaves j and the white flowers seemed to tremble amidst 
that shadowy garland. I never saw anything to approach 
them ; they were far more natural than any paintings. 

Miss Benette took this veil up in her little pink hands, 
and folding it very small, and wrapping it in silver paper, 
presented it to Millicent, saying, in a child-like but most 
touching manner, "You must take it, then, that you 
may not think I am ungrateful ; and I am so glad you 
chose that." 

As Millicent said, it would have been impossible to 
have refused her anything. I quite longed to cry, and 
the tears stood in my tender-hearted sister's eyes ; but 
Clara seemed entirely unconscious she had done any- 
thing touching or pretty or complete. 

If I go on in this way, raking the embers of reminis- 
cence into rosy flames, I shall never emancipate myself 
into the second great phase of my existence. It is posi- 
tively necessary that I should not revert to that veil at 
present, or I should have to delineate astonishment and 
admiration that had no end. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

AT last the day came, and having excited myself 
the whole morning about the Redfems, I left off 
thinking of them, and returned to myself. Although it 
portends little, 1 may transmit to posterity the fact that 
my new clothes came home at half-past three, and my 
mother beheld me arrayed in them at five. Davy had 
all our parts and the songs of Miss Benette, for she was 
to sing alone if requested to do so, and was to be ready, 
when 1 should call, to accompany me. 

1 was at length pronounced at liberty to depart, — that 
is, everybody had examined me from head to foot I 
had a sprig of the largest m)Ttle in the greenhouse 
quilted into the second and third button-holes, and my 
white gloves were placed in my pocket by Clo, after she 
had wrapped them in white paper. I privately carried a 
sprig of myrtle, too, for Miss Benette : it was covered 
with blossom, and of a very fine species. Thon^ never 
answered the door in St. Anthony's Lane, but invariably 
the same extraordinary figure who had startled me on 
my first visit. She stared so long with the door in her 
hand, this time, that I rushed past her and ran up the 
stairs. 

Still singing ! Yes, there she was, in her litde bonnet, 
but from head to foot enveloped in a monstrous cloak ; 
1 could not see what dress she wore. It was November 
now, and getting very dusk ; but we had both expressed 
a wish to walk, and Davy always preferred it How 



THE PRIORY, 141 

curious his shell looked in the uncertain gleam ! The 
tiny garden, as immaculate as ever, wore the paler shine 
of asters and Michaelmas daisies; and the casement 
above, being open, revealed Davy watching for us 
through the twilight. He came down instantly, sweep- 
ing the flower-shrubs with his litde cloak, and having 
locked the door and put the key into his pocket, he ac- 
costed us joyously, shaking hands with us both. But he 
held all the music under his cloak too, nor would I pro- 
ceed until he suffered me to carry it. We called for Mr. 
Newton, our companion tenor, who lived a short way in 
the town. He met us with white gloves ready put on, 
and in the bravery of a white waistcoat, which he exhib- 
ited through the opening of his jauntily hung great-coat. 
I left him behind with Davy, and again found myself 
with Miss Benette. I began to grow nervous when, 
having passed the shops and factories of that district, we 
emerged upon the Lawborough Road, lit by a lamp 
placed here and there, with dark night looming in the 
distant highway. Again we passed house after house 
standing back in masses of black evergreen ; but about 
not a few there was silence, and no light from within. At 
length, forewarned by rolling wheels that had left us far 
behind them, we left the gate of the Priory and walked 
up to the door. 

It was a very large house, and one of the carriages had 
just driven off as Davy announced his name. One of 
three footmen, lolling in the portico, aroused and led us 
to a room at the side of the hall, shutting us in. It was a 
handsome room, though small, furnished with a looking- 
glass ; here were also various coats and hats reposing upon 
chairs. I looked at myself in the glass while Davy and 
our tenor gave themselves the last touch, and then left it 
clear for them. I perceived that Miss Benette had not 



142 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

come in with us, or had stayed behind. She had taken 
off her bonnet elsewhere, and when we were all ready, and 
the door was opened, I saw her once more, standing un- 
derneath the lamp. I could not find out how she was 
dressed; her frock was, as usual, black silk, but of the very 
richest. She wore long sleeves, and drooping falls upon 
her wrists of the finest black lace ; no white against her 
delicate throat, except that in front she had placed a 
small but really magnificent row of pearls. Her silky 
dark hair she wore, as usual, slightly drooped on either 
temple, but neither curled nor banded. I presented her 
with the myrtle sprig, which she twisted into her pearls, 
seeming pleased with it ; but otherwise she was very un- 
excited, though very bright. I was not bright, but very 
much excited ; I quite shook as we walked up the soft 
stair-carpet side by side. She looked at me in evident 
surprise. 

" You need not be nervous, Master Auchester, I as- 
sure you ! " 

" It is going into the drawing room, and being intro- 
duced, I hate; will there be many people, do you 
think ? " 

She opened her blue eyes very wide when I asked her, 
and then, with a smile quite new to me upon her face, 
a most enchanting but sorely contemptuous smile, she 
said, — 

** Oh ! we are not going in there, — did you think so ? 
There is a separate room for us, in which we are to sip 
our coffee." 

I was truly astonished, but I had not time to frame 
any expression ; we were ushered forward into the room 
she had suggested. It was a sort of inner drawing-room 
apparently, for there were closed folding-doors in the 
wall that opposed the entrance. An elegant chandelier 



THE MUSICIANS, 1 43 

hung over a central rosewood table ; on this table lay 
abundance of music, evidently sorted with some care. 
Two tall wax-candles upon the mantelshelf were re- 
flected in a tall mirror in tall silver sticks ; the gold-col- 
ored walls were pictureless, and crimson damask was 
draperied and festooned at the shuttered window. Crim- 
son silk chairs stood about, and so did the people in the 
room, whom we began, Claia and I, to scrutinize. 
Standing at the table by Davy, and pointing with a white 
kid finger to the music thereon arranged, was an indi- 
vidual with the organs of melody and of benevolence 
in about equal development ; he was talking very fast. I 
was sure I knew his face, and so I did. It was the very 
Mr. Westley who came upon us in the corridor at the 
festival. He taught the younger Miss Redfems, of 
whom there was a swarm ; and as they grew they were 
passed up to the tuition of Monsieur Mirandos, a haugh- 
tily-behaved being, in the middle of the rug, warming his 
hands, gloves and all, and gazing with the self-conscious- 
ness of pianist primo then and there present. It was 
Clara who initiated me into this fact, and also that he 
taught the competent elders of that exclusively feminine 
flock, and that he was the author of a grand fantasia 
which had neither predecessor nor descendant. Miss 
Benette and I had taken two chairs in the comer next 
the crimson curtain, and nestling in there we laughed and 
we talked. 

" Who is the man in a blue coat with bright buttons, 
now looking up at the chandelier? " I inquired. 

" That is a man who has given his name an Italian 
termination, but I forget it. He has a great name for 
getting up concerts, and I daresay he will be a sort 
of director to-night." 

So it was, at least so it seemed, for he at last left the 



144 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

room, and returning presented us each with a sheet of 
pink-satin note-paper, on which were named and written 
in order the compositions awaiting interpretation. We 
looked eagerly to see where our first glee came. 

" Oh ! not for a good while, Master Auchester. But 
do look, here is that Mirandos going to play his grande 
faniaisie sur des motifs militaires. Oh! who is that 
coming in?" 

Here Miss Benette interrupted herself, and I, excited 
by her accent, looked up simultaneously. 

As for me, I knew directly who it was, for the gentle- 
man entering at the door so carelessly, at the same time 
appearing to take in the whole room with his glance, had 
a violin-case in his hand. I shall not forget his manner 
of being immediately at home, nodding to one and an- 
other amiably, but with a slight sneer upon his lip, which 
he probably could not help, as his mouth was very finely 
cut. I felt certain it was Santonio ; and while the gen- 
tleman upon the rug addressed him very excitedly, 
and received a cool reply, though I could not hear what 
it was, for all the men were talking, Davy came up to 
us and confirmed my presentiment. 

" What a handsome gentleman he is, but how he 
stares ! " said Clara, in a serious manner that set me 
laughing ; and then Davy whispered " Hush ! " 

But it was of little use, for Santonio came up now to 
our comer, and deposited his case on the next chair 
to Miss Benette, looking at her all the while and at me, 
so that we could well see his face. It was certainly 
very handsome, — a trifle too handsome, perhaps, yet 
full of harmonious lines, and the features were very 
pure. His complexion was glowing, yet fair, and 
passed well by contrast into the hue of his eyes, which 
were of that musical gray more blue than slate-colored. 



S ANTONIO. 145 

Had he been less handsome, the Hebrew contour 
might have been more easily detected ; as it was, it 
was clear to me, but might not have occurred to others 
who did not look for it. A brilliant person, such as 
I have seldom seen, he yet interested more by his 
gestures, his way of scanning, and smiling to himself, 
his defiant sell-composure, something discomposing to 
those about him, than by his positive personal attrac- 
tions. Having examined us, he examined also Davy, 
and said specially, **How are you?" 

** Quite well, thank you," replied our master ; " I 
had no right to expect you would remember me, Mr. 
Santonio." 

*' Oh ! I never forget anybody," was the reply ; " I 
often wish I did, for I have seen everybody now, and 
there is no one else to see." 

" Oh ! " thought I to myself, but I said nothing, 
" you have not seen one,'' ¥01 I felt sure, I knew not 
why, that he had not. 

*' Is this your son, Davy ? " questioned he, once more 
speaking, and looking down upon me for an instant. 
Certainly not ; my pupil and favorite alto.'* 
Is he for the profession, then ? " 

" What do you say, Charles ? ' 

" Yes, Mr. Davy, certainly." 

" If I don't mistake, it will not be alto long, though," 
said Santonio, with lightness ; " his arm and hand are 
ready made for me." 

I was so transported that I believe I should have 
knelt before Santonio but that, as lightly as he had 
spoken, he had turned again away. It was as if he had 
not said those words, so unaltered was his face, with 
those curved eyebrows ; and I wished he had left me 
alone altogether,. I felt so insignificant. It was a good 

VOL. I. — 10 



it 



146 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

thing for me that now there entered footmen very 
stately, with silver trays, upon which they carried 
coffee, very strong and cold, and chilly green tea. 
We helped ourselves, every one, and then it was I 
really began to enjoy the exclusion with which we had 
been visited ; for we all seemed shut in and belonging to 
each other. The pianist primo joked with Santonio, and 
Mr. Westley attacked Davy, while Newton and the man 
in the blue coat with bright buttons wore the subject of 
the festival to a thread ; for the former had been away, 
and the latter had been there, and the latt^ enlight- 
ened the former, and more than enlightened him, and 
where his memory failed, invented, never knowing that 
I, who had been present, was listening and judging, 
— as Clara said, " he was making up stories ; " and 
indeed it was a surprise for me to discover such an 
imagination dwelling in a frame so adipose. 

Santonio at last attracted our whole attention by 
pouring his coffee into the fire, and asking a footman, 
who had re-entered with wafers and tea-cakes, for some 
more coffee that was hot ; and while we were all laugh- 
ing very loud, another footman, a shade more pompous 
than this, threw back the folding-doors that divided us 
from the impenetrable saloon. As those doors stood 
open we peeped in. 

" How many people there are ! " said I. 

" Yes," said Clara, " but they are not very wise." 

" Why do you suppose not ? " 

" First, because they have set the piano close up against 
the wall. Mr. Davy will have it out, I know." 

" I see a great many young ladies in pink frocks, — 
I suppose the Miss Redfems." 

" See that man, Master Auchester, who is looking down 
at the legs of the piano, to find out how they are put on." 



V 



CLARA'S SONG, I47 

And thus we talked and laughed until Santonio had 
finished his cofifee, quite as if no one was either in that 
room or in the next 

" It was not warm, after all," said he to Mirandos ; 
but this was in a lower tone, and he put on an air of 
hauteur withal that became him wonderfully. Then I 
found that we had all become very quiet, and there had 
grown a hush through the next room, so that it looked 
like a vast picture, of chandeliers all light, tall glasses, 
ruddy curtains, and people gayly yet lightly dressed. 
The men in there spoiled the picture, though, — they 
none of them looked comfortable : men seldom do in 
England at an evening party. Our set, indeed, looked 
comfortable enough, though Davy was a little pale ; I 
very well knew why. At last in came the footman 
again ; he spoke to the gentleman in the blue coat with 
bright buttons. Jle bowed, looked red, and walked up 
to Davy. Miss Benette's song came first, I knew ; and 
I declare the blood quite burned at my heart with feel- 
ing for her. How littie I knew her really ! Almost 
before I could look for her, she was gone fi*om my 
side ; I watched her into the next room. She walked 
across it just as she was used to cross her own little 
lonely room at home, except that she just touched 
Davy's arm. As she had predicted, he drew the piano 
several feet from the wall, — it was a grand piano. — and 
she took her place by him. As serenely, as seriously, 
with that bright light upon her face which was as the 
sunshine amidst those lamps, she seemed, and I believe 
was, as serene, as serious, as when at home over her 
exquisite broidery. No music was before Davy as he 
commenced the opening sjinphony of one of Weber's 
most delighting airs. The public was just fresh from 
the pathos of Weber's early death, and everybody 



143 CHARLES ACCHESTER. 

rished to hear his muse She begun with si infienatf 
tliat astanished even me, — 2x1 ease that so compietelj 
instilled die meaning chat I ceased to be alarmed or to 
tremble for her. Her voice even then held promise of 
what it has since become, as perfectly as does the 
rose-bud, half open, conmin the rose. I ha»e seen 
singers smile while they sang; I hisve watched diexn 
sing with the tears apon their cheeks : yet I never saw- 
any one sing so serjously as 3»Iiss Benette, calmly^ 
because it is her nature, and above all, with an evident 
hcilitj so peculiar that I have ceased to reverence 
conqoered difficulties so nmch as I believe I oo^it to 
do for the sake of art. Everybody was very quiet, 
quieter than at many public concerts ; bat this audience 
was half stupefied with curiosity, as well as replete with 
the novelty of the style itself. Everybody who has en- 
thusiasm knows the tStct of candle-Ii^ht opoo the brain 
during the performance of nmsic anywhere, and just as 
we were situated there was a strange romance, I thooghL 
Santonio stood upon the rug ; a very sweet expressiofi 
sat upon his lips^ — I thought even ^ was enchanted ; 
and when Clara was silent and had come back again 
so quietly, without any flush upon her face, I thought 
he would surely come too and compliment her. But no. 
he was to play himself, and had taken out his violin. 

It was a little violin, and he lifted it as if it had been 
a flower or an infant, and laid his head lovingly upon 
it while he touched the strings. They, even those 
pizzicato hints, seemed to me to be sounds borne out 
of another sphere, so painfully susceptible I became 
instantly to the power of the instniment itself. 

" It is to be the Grand Sonata, I see." 

"No, sir," said Davy, who had come back with 
Miss Benette. 



DVO FOR VIOLIN AND PIAXO. 1 49 

**Yes5 but I shaD not play with Mirandos; we 
settled that, Miss Lawrence and I." 

"Who is Miss Lawrence?" 

" An ally of mine." 

" In the room?'' 

"Yes, yes. Don't talk, Davy; she is coming after 
me. Your servant. Miss Lawrence ! " 

I beheld a young lady in the doorway. 

" So, Mr. Santonio, you aie not ready ? They are 
all very impatient for a sight of you." 

" I am entirely at your service." 

'* Come, then." 

She beckoned with her hand. It was all so sudden 
that I could only determine the color of her hair, 
black ; and of her brocaded dress, a dark blue. Her 
voice was in tone satirical, and she spoke like one 
accustomed to be obeyed. When Santonio entered, 
there began a buzzing, and various worthies in white 
kid gloves clustered round the piano. He drew the 
desk this side of the instrument, so that not only his 
back was turned to us, but he screened Miss Lawrence 
also ; and I was provoked that I could see nothing but 
the pearls that were twisted with her braided hair. It 
was one of Beethoven's complete works to be inter- 
preted, a divine duo for violin and piano, that had then 
never been heard in England, except at the Philhar- 
monic concerts ; and I did not know the name even 
then of the Philharmonic And when it began, an in- 
describable sensation of awe, of bliss, of almost anguish, 
pervaded me, — it was the very bitter of enjoyment ; but 
I could not realize it for a long time. 

The perfection of Santonio's bowing never tempted 
him to eccentricity, and no one could have dreamed of 
comparing him with Paganini, so his fame was safe 



I50 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

But I knew nothing of Paganini, and merely feit from 
head to foot as if I were the violin and he was playing 
upon me, so completely was I drawn into the perform- 
ance, body and soul, — not the performance merely, 
let me say ; as a violinist now, my conviction is that 
the influence is as much physical as supernatural of 
my adopted instrument- That time my nerves were 
so much affected that I trembled in every part of me. 
Internally I was weeping, but my tears overflowed 
not my eyes. 

Santonio's cantabile, whatever they say of Ernst or of 
Sivori, is superior to either. There is a manly passion 
in his playing that never condescends to coquette with 
the submissive strings ; it wailed enoagh that night for 
anjrthing, and yet never degenerated into imitation. I 
knew directly I heard him draw the first quickening, 
shivering chord — shivering to my heart — I knew that 
the violin must become my master, or I its own. 

Davy, still pale, but radiant with sympathetic pleasure, 
continued to glance down upon me, and Clara's eyes 
were lost in drooping to the ground I scarcely know 
how it was, but I was very inadvertent of the pianoforte 
part, magnificently sustained as it was and inseparable 
from the other, until Clara whispered to Davy, " Does 
she not play remarkably well, sir?" 

"Yes," he returned; '' I am surprised. She surely 
must be professional." But none of us liked to inquire, 
at least then. 

I noticed afterwards, from time to time, how well the 
piano met the violin in divided passages, and how ex- 
actly they went together; but still those strings, that 
bow, were all in all for me, and Santonio was the 
scarcely perceptible presence of an intimate sympathy, 
veiled from me as it were by a hovering mist of somid. 




THE CONCLUSION. 151 

So it was especially in the slow movement, with its long 
sighs, like the voice of silence, and its short, broken 
sobs of joy. The thrill of my brain, the deep tumult of 
ray bosom, alone prevented me from tears, just as the 
rain falls not when the wind is swelling highest, but waits 
for the subsiding hush. The analogy will not serve me 
out, nevertheless, for at the close of the last movement, 
so breathless and so impetuous as it was, there was no 
hush, only a great din, in the midst of which I wept 
not ; it was neither time nor place. Miss Benette, too, 
whispered just at the conclusion, when Santonio was 
haughtily, and Miss Lawrence carelessly, retiring, 
" Now we shall go ; but please do not make me laugh, 
Master Auchester." 

" How can you say so, when it was your fault that we 
laughed the other night ? " 

And truly it did seem impossible to unsettle that 
sweet gravity of hers, though it often unsettled mine. 



CHAPTER XX. 

WE went, and really I found it not so dreadful ; and 
so was I drawn to listen for her voice so dear 
to me even then, that I forgot all other circumstances 
except that she was standing by me there, singing. I 
sang very well, — to my shame if it be spoken, I always 
know when I do ; and the light color so seldom seen on 
Davy's cheek attested his satisfaction. Davy himself 
sang alone next, and we were cleared off every one, 
while he sang so beautiful a bass solo, in its delicacy and 
simplicity, as I had ever heard. Clara and I mutually 
agreed to be very nervous for our master. I am sure he 
was so, but nobody could have told it of him who did 
not know him inside and out, — not even Santonio, 
who, standing on the rug again, and turning down his 
wristbands, which had disappeared altogether while he 
played, said to Mirandos, " He seems very comfortable," 
meaning Davy. Then came a quartet, and we figured 
again. 

I was not glad to feel the intermitting tenor supplant 
that soprano. Truly, it seemed that the higher Clara 
sang, the nearer she got to heaven. The company 
applauded this quartet, mere thready tissue of sweet 
sounds as it was — Rossini's — more than even Santo- 
nio's violin ; but twenty years ago there had been no 
universal deluge of education, as I have lived to see 
since, and, at least in England in the midland counties, 
people were few who could make out the signs of musi- 



ca] genius so as to read them as they ran. Perhaps it 
was better that the musician then an}y sought for syni> 
patby among his own kind. 

I knew Mirandos, and his Stasia came next, and 
hastily retreated, palling Miss Benetie by her dress to 
bring hex away too ; for I had a horror of hts spreading 
hands. Santonio, impelled I daresay by die small cun> 
osity which characterizes great minds in the majority of 
instances, came on the contrary fonnuds, and stood in 
the dooPB^y to watch Mirandos take his seat I could 
see the sneer setde upon his lips, subtle as that was ; and 
I should have liked to stand and watch him, for I am 
fond of watching the countenances of artists in their 
medium moments, when I saw that Miss Benette had 
stolen to the fire, and was leaning against the mantel- 
shelf her infantine forehead. Her attraction was strong- 
est ; I joined her. 

" Now," said I, " if it were not for Santonio, would 
you not find this evening very dull?" 

" It is not an evening at all. Master Auchester, it is a 
candle-light day ; and so £air from finding it dull, I find it 
a great deal too l^ght I could listen forever to Mr. 
Davy's voice," 

" What can it be that makes his voice so sweet, when 
it is such a deep voice ? " 

" I know it is because he has never sung in theatres. 
It does make a deep voice rough to sing in theatres, 
unless a man does not begin to sing so for a long, very 
long time." 

" Miss Benette, is that the reason you do not mean to 
sing in theatres ? " 

" No ; but it is the reason I sing so much in my little 
room." 

" Mr. Davy says you don't mean to act** 



154 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

" No more I do mean, but perhaps it will come upon 
me, and Thon6 says, ' Child, you must/ " 

"She thinks you have a special gift, then? " 

** Who said to you about the special gift, Master Au- 
chester? Do you ever forget anything you hear?" 

" Never ! I am like Mr. Santonio. But Mr. Davy 
told me the night I asked him your name." 

"Oh, yes, I told him I had not a special gift. I 
thought the words so put together would please him, 
and I like to please him, he is good. I do not think 
it is a special gift, you know, Master Auchester, to act" 

" What is it then, Miss Benette ? " 

"An inspiration." 

" Mr. Davy called the conducting at the festival 
inspiration." 

" Oh, yes ; but all great composers are inspired." 

" Do you consider our conductor was a great com- 
poser?" 

"I daresay; but you must not ask me, I am not 
wise. Thon^ is very wise, and she said to me the other 
day, after you were gone, ' He is one of us.' " 

" But, Miss Benette, she is a gypsy, and I am not." 

" We are not all alike because we are one. Can there 
be music without many combinations, and they each of 
many single sounds ? " 

Mirandos was putting on the pedal, and we paused at 
this moment, as he paused before the attacca. Santonio 
still remained in the doorway, and Davy was standing in 
the window against the crimson curtain, listening, and 
quite white with distress at the performance; for the 
keys every now and then jangled furiously, and a storm 
of arpeggi seemed to endanger the very existence of the 
fragile wires. 

Suddenly a young lady swept past Santonio, and 



V 



MISS LAWRENCE. 1 55 

glanced at Davy in passing into our retreat. Santonio, 
of course, did not move an inch ; certainly there was 
just room enough to clear him ! But Davy fell back into 
the folds of the curtain, frowning, not at the young lady, 
but at the fantasia. 

It was Miss Lawrence ; and lo ! before I could well 
recognize her, she stepped up to me and said, without a 
bow or any introductory flourish, " Are you Mr. Davy's 
pupil?" 

" We are both, ma*am," I answered foolishly, half in- 
dicating Miss Benette, who was bending her lashes 
into the firelight. Miss Lawrence replied lightly, yet 
seriously, — 

" Oh, I know she is, but you first, because I knew you 
again." 

I gazed upon her at this crisis. She had a peculiar 
face, dark yet soft ; and her eye was very fine, large, and 
half closed, but not at all languid. Her forehead spread 
wide beneath jetty hair as smooth as glass, and her 
mouth was very satirical, — capable of sweetness, as such 
mouths alone are, though the case is often reversed. 
How satirical are some expressions that slumber in 
sweetness too exquisite to gaze on ! And as for this 
young lady's manner, very easy was she, yet so high as 
to be unapproachable, unless she first approached you. 
Her accent was polished, or her address would have 
been somewhat brusque ; as it was, it only required, not 
requested, a reply. She went on all this time, though, — 

" I saw you in the chorus at the festival, and I watched 
you well ; and I saw you run out and return with that 
water-glass I envied you in bearing. I hope you thought 
yourself enviable ? " 

" I certainly did not, because I could not think of my- 
self at all." 



156 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

" That is best ! Now will you — that is, can you — 
tell me who the conductor was?" 

I forgot who she was, and imploringly my whole 
heart said, " Oh, do pray tell us ! We have tried and 
tried to find out, and no one knows.'* 

" No one knows, but I will know ! ** and she shook 
impatiently the rich coral n^glig^e that hung about her 
throat. Again, with much bitterness in her tones, she 
resumed, " I think it was cruel and unjust besides not 
to tell us, that we at least might have thanked him. 
Even poor St. Michel was groaning over his ignorance 
of such a personage, — if indeed he be a wight, and not 
a sprite. I shall find a witch next." 

" Thon6 I " I whispered to Clara, and her lips parted 
to smile, but she looked not up. 

And now a young man came in, out of the company, 
to look for Miss Lawrence. 

" Oh, is Miss Lawrence here ? " said Santonio, care- 
lessly turning and looking over his shoulder to find her, 
though I daresay he knew she was there well enough. 
However, he came up now and took his stand by her 
side, and they soon began to talk. Rather relieved that 
the responsibility was taken off myself, I listened 
eagerly. 

It was fascinating in the extreme to me to see how 
Miss Lawrence spurned the arm of the gentleman who 
had come to look for her and to conduct her back ; he 
was obliged to retire discomfited, and Santonio took no 
heed of him at all. I could not help thinking then that 
Miss Lawrence must have been everywhere and have 
seen everything, to be so self-possessed, for I could 
quite distinguish between her self-possession and Clara's, 
— the latter natural, the former acquired, however 
naturally worn. 



A MUSICAL CONVERSATION. 157 

It was not long, nevertheless, before I received a 
shock. It was something in this way. Miss Lawrence 
had reverted to the festival, and she said to Santonio, 
** I had hopes of this young gentleman, because I 
thought he belonged to the conductor, who spoke to 
him between the parts ; but he is as wise as the rest of 
us, and I can only say my conviction bids fair to become 
my faith." 

** Your conviction that you related to me in such a 
romantic narrative ? " asked Santonio, without appearing 
much interested. But he warmed as he proceeded. 
" The wind was very poor at the festival, I heard." 

" They always say so in London about country per- 
formances, you know, either at least about the wind or 
the strings, or else one luckless oboe is held up to ridi- 
cule, or a solitary flute, or a desolate double-bass." 

" But if the soHtary flute or bass render themselves 
absurd, they should be ridiculed far more in a general 
orchestra than in a particular quartet or so, for the 
effect of the master-players thus goes for nothing. I 
never yet heard a stringed force go through an oratorio, 
and its violent exercises for the tutti, without falling at 
least a tone." 

" Oh, the primi were very well ! and in fact, had all 
been flat together, it would have been unnoticeable ; 
while the tempi were marked so clearly, no one had time 
to criticise and analyze. But the organ had better have 
been quiet altogether ; it would have looked very well, 
and nobody would have known it was not sounding." 

" I beg your pardon, every one would then have called 
out for more noise." 

" Not so, Mr. Santonio ; there was quite body enough. 
But there sat Erfurt, groping, as he always does, for the 
pedals, and punching the keys, while the stops, all out, 



158 CHARLES A U CHESTER. 

could very often not be got in in time, and we had 
fortissimo against the fiddles." 

" I wonder your conductor did not give one little tap 
upon Erfurt's skulL So much for his own judgment, 
Miss Lawrence." 

" I beg your pardon, Mr. Santonio ; the grand point 
was making all go together, such as it was, so that no 
one realized a discrepancy anywhere. Interruptions 
would not only have been useless, they would have been 
ignorant ; but in this person's strange intimacy with the 
exigencies of a somewhat unsteady orchestra, his con- 
summate triumph was achieved." 

" Well, I believe he will be found some time hence, in 
some out-of-the-way hole, that shall deprive you all of 
enchantment." 

** I do believe he is my wizard of Rothseneld." 
•* You are very credulous if you can so believe." 
And they said much more. But what shocked me, 
had been the denuding treatment of my all-glorious 
festival, — my romance of perfectibility, my ideal world. 
How they talked — for I cannot remember the phrases 
they strung into cold chains, at much greater length 
than I record — of what had been for me as heaven out- 
spread above in mystery and beauty, and as a heaven- 
imaging deep beneath, beyond my fathom, yet whereon 
I had exulted as on the infinite unknown ! they making 
it instead a reality not itself all lovely, — a revelation 
not itself complete. I had not been mixed in the musi- 
cal world ; for there is such a world as is not heaven, 
but earth, in the realm of tone, and tone-artists must 
pass, as it were, through it. How few receive not from it 
some touch, some taint of its clinging presence 1 How 
few, indeed, infuse into it — while in it they are neces- 
sitated to linger — the spirit of their heavenly home ! 



^^ WHILE WE MUSE, THE FIRE KINDLES r 1 59 

Dimly, of a truth, had the life of music been then 
opened to my ken ; but it seemed at that moment again 
enclosed, and I fell back into the first darkness. It was 
so sad to me to feel thus, that I could not for an instant 
recover my faith in myself. I fancied myself too in- 
significantly affected, and would, if I could, have joined 
in the anti-spiritual prate of Miss Lawrence and San- 
tonio. Let me do them no injustice ; they were both 
musicians, but I was not old enough to appreciate their 
actual enthusiasm, as it were by mutual consent a sealed 
subject between them. 

I am almost tempted, after all, to say that it is best 
not to tamper with our finest feelings, — best to keep 
silence ; but let me beware, — it is while we muse, the 
fire kindles, and we are then to speak with our tongues. 
Let them be touched too, though, with tlie inward fire, 
pr we have no right to speak. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

OH, shame upon me, thus to ramble, when I should 
be restoring merely ! 

After the shock I mentioned, the best thing happened 
to me possible, — we had to sing again ; and Clara's 
voice arising, like the souls of flowers, to the sun, be- 
came actually to me as the sun unto those flowery souls. 
I revived and recovered my warmth ; but now the re- 
action had come, and I sang through tears. I don't 
know how my voice sounded, but I felt it return upon 
me, and Davy grew rather nervous, I knew, from his 
manner of accompanying. And I did not say that while 
Miss Lawrence had stood and chatted with Santonio, a 
noiseless rentree of footmen had taken place, — they 
bearing salvers loaded with ices and what are called 
"creams" at evening parties. 

A sort of interiude this formed, of which the guests 
availed themselves to come and stare in upon us ; and 
as they looked in we peeped out, though nobody ven- 
tured on our side beyond the doorway. So our duet had 
happened afterwards, and the music was to be resumed 
until twelve o'clock, the supper-hour. And after our 
duet there was performed this coda, that Miss Redfem 
requested Miss Lawrence to play with her, and that 
Miss Lawrence refused, but consented, at Santonio's 
suggestion, to play alone. As soon as she was seen past 
our folding-door, the whole male squadron advanced to 
escort her to the piano ; but as she was removing her 



MISS LAWRENCE'S PERFORMANCE. l6l 

gloves leisurely, she waved them off, and they became of 
no account whatever in an instant She sat down very 
still and played a brilliant prelude, a more than brilliant 
fugue, short and sharp, then a popular air, witli varia- 
tions, few, but finely fingered ; and at last, after a few 
modulations, startling from the hand of a female, some- 
thing altogether new, something fresh and mystical, that 
affected me painfully even at its opening notes. It was 
a movement of such intense meaning that it was but 
one sigh of unblended and unfaltering melody, isolated 
as the fragrance of a single flower ; and only the per- 
fumes of Nature exhale a bliss as sweet, how far more 
unexpressed ! This short movement, that in its oneness 
was complete, grew, as it were, by fragmentary harmo- 
nies intricate, but most gradual, into another, — d^prestis- 
simo, so delicately fitted, that it was like moonlight 
dancing upon crested ripples ; or for a better similitude, 
like quivering sprays in a summer wind. And in less 
than fifty bars of regularly broken time — how ravishingly 
sweet I say not — the first subject in refrain flowed 
through the second, and they interwoven even as creep- 
ers and flowers densely tangled, closed together simul- 
taneously. The perfect command Miss Lawrence 
possessed over the instrument did not in the least occur 
to me ; I was possessed but by one idea. Yet too 
nervous to venture into that large room, I eagerly 
watched her, and endeavored to arrest her eye, that I 
might beckon her among us again ; so resolute was I to 
ask her the name of the author. Santonio, as if really 
excited, had made a sort of rush to her, and was now 
addressing her, but I heard not what they said, though 
Davy did, for he had followed Santonio. To my sur- 
prise, I saw that Miss Benette had taken herself into a 
comer, and when I gazed upon her she was wiping her 
VOL. r. — II 



l62 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

eyes. I was reminded then tiiat my own were nmning 
over. 

Scarcely was I fit to look up again, having retreated 
to another corner^ fidien I beheld M:ss Lawrence, in 
her blue brocade, come in and look about her. She 
absolutely advanced to me. 

'' Did yon like that litde dream ? That is my notion 
of the gendeman at the festival, do yon know.** 

'' Did you compose it?** I asked in a maze. 

" No, I beUeve he did." 

^'Then you know who he is? Tdl me, oh! tell me 
the name.** 

She smiled then at me with kindness, — a beneficent 
sweetness. '' Come, sit down, and I will sit by you and 
tell you the story." 

" May not Miss Benette come too?** 

"Oh, certainly, if she is not more comfortable out 
there. I wish you would bring her, though, for I want 
to see her eyes." I slipped over the carpet. " Come, 
Miss Benette, and hear what Miss Lawrence is saying." 
She looked a little more serious with surprise, but fol- 
lowed me across the room and took the next chair 
beyond mine. Santonio came up too, but Miss Law- 
rence said, "Go, — you have heard it before;" and 
he, having to play again next, retired with careful 
dignity. 

" You must know that once on a time, — which means 
about three months ago," — began Miss Lawrence, as if 
she were reading the introductory chapter of a new 
novel, " I wanted some country air and some hard prac- 
tice. I cannot get either in London, where I live, and 
I determined to combine the two. So I took a cottage 
in a lone part of Scotland, — mountainous Scotland ; 
but no one teeht with me except my maid, and we took 



HER STORY. I63 

care togelther of a grand pianoforte which I hired in 
Edinburgh, and carried on with me, van and all. 

" It was glorious weather just then, and when I ar- 
rived at my cottage I found it very difficult to practise, 
though very charming to play; and I played a great 
deal, — often all the day until the evening, when I inva- 
riably ascended my nearest hill, and inhaled the purest 
air in the whole world. My maid went always with me ; 
and at such seasons I left my pianoforte sometimes shut, 
and sometimes open, as it happened, in my parlor, 
which had a splendid prospect, and very wide windows 
opening to the garden in front I allowed these win- 
dows to remain open always when I went out, and I 
have often found Beethoven's sonatas strewed over the 
lawn when the wind blew freshly, as very frequently it 
did. You may believe I often prolonged my strolls until 
the sun had set and the moon arisen. So one time it 
happened, I had been at work the wliole day upon a 
crabbed copy of studies by Bach and Handel that my 
music-seller had smuggled for me from an old bureau in 
a Parisian warehouse, — for you must know such studies 
are rarely to be found." 

"Why not? " asked I, rather abruptly, just as if it had 
been Millicent who was speaking. 

" Oh ! just because they are rare practice, I suppose. 
But listen, or our tale will be cut off «hort, as I see San- 
tonio is about to play.'' 

" Oh, make haste then, pray ! " 

And she resumed in a vein more lively. 

" The whole day I had worked, and at evening I went 
out. The sunshine had broken from dark, moist clouds 
all over those hills. The first steep I climbed was pro- 
fusely covered with honeysuckle, and the rosy gold of 
the clusters, intermixed with the heather, just there a 



1 64 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

perfect surface, pleased me so mach that I gathered 
more than I could well hold in both my arms. Vic- 
torine was just coming out, — that is, my handmaid, — 
and I returned past her to leave my flowers at home. 
It struck me first to throw them over the palings upon the 
littie lawn, but second thoughts determined me to carry 
them in-doors for a sketch, or something. I got into my 
parlor by the glass door, and flung them all, firesh as 
they were, and glimmering with rain-drops, upon the 
music-stand of the pianoforte. I cannot tell you why I 
did it, but so it was ; and I had a fancy that they would 
be choice companions for those quaint studies which 
yet lay open upon the desk. 

** In that lone place, such was its beauty and its vir- 
tue, we never feared to leave the windows open or the 
doors all night unlocked ; and I think it very possible I 
may have left the little gate of the front garden swing- 
ing after me, for Victorine always latched it, as she 
came last. 

** At all events, I found her on the top of the honey- 
suckle height, carrying a camp-stool and looking very 
tired. The camp-stool was for her, as I always reposed 
on the grass, wrapped in a veritable tartan. And this 
night I reposed a good deal to make a flying sunset 
sketch. Then I stayed to find fault with my dry earth 
and wooden sky, and the heather with neither gold nor 
bloom upon it ; then to watch the shadows creep up the 
hill, and then the moon, and tlien the lights in the 
valley, till it was just nine o'clock. Slowly strolling 
home, I met nobody except a shadow, — that is to say, 
as I was moving no faster myself than a snail, I sud- 
denly saw a long figure upon the ground flit by me in 
the broad moonlight. 

"*It was a gentleman in a cloak,' said Victorine. 



''HEATHER AND HONEYSUCKLES 16$ 

But I had seen no person, only, as I have said, a 
shadow, and took no note. 

" * He had a sketching-book like Mademoiselle's, and 
was pale/ added Victorine. But I bade her be silent, 
as she was too fond of talking ; still, I replied, ' Every- 
body looks pale by moonlight,' — a fact to be ascer- 
tained, if anywhere, on a moonlit moor. 

" So I came home across the lawn, and got in at my 
window. I rang for candles ; it was not dark, certainly, 
but I wanted to play. I stood at the window till the 
goodwife of the house, from her little kitchen, brought 
them up. She placed them upon the piano, as I had 
always ordered her to do, and left the room. After I 
had watched the moonlight out of doors for some time, 
being lazy with that wild air, I walked absently up to the 
instrument. What had taken place there ? Behold, the 
Bach and Handel, discarded, lay behind the desk, hav- 
ing been removed by some careful hand, and on the desk 
itself, still overhung with the honeysuckle and heather I 
had hastily tossed about it, I found a sheet of music- 
paper. I could not believe my eyes for a long time. It 
was covered with close, delicate composition, so small 
as to fill a double page, and distinct as any printing. 
It had this inscription, but no name, no notice else : 
* Heather and Honeysuckle ; a Tone-wreath from the 
Northern HiUs.'" 

** And that is what you played ; oh, Miss Lawrence I " 
I cried, less in ecstasy at the sum of the story than 
at my own consciousness of having anticipated its 
conclusion. 

" Yes, that is what I played, and what I very seldom 
do play ; but I thought you should hear it ! " 

** I ! " I cried, much too loud under the circum- 
stances j but I could not have helped it. " It was very 



r66 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

kind of fOft bat I don't know why yoa ahoukL But it 
isbyicprthen?" 

^ You have said \ * ' answered Miss Lawrence, land- 
ing, — ''at least I think so. And if yoa and I agree, 
BO doabt we are right*^ 

" No, I dont see that at all," I repKed; for it was a 
thing I could not allow. '^ I am only a liule boy, and 
you are a great player, and grown up. Besides^ yoa 
saw his shadow." 

**Do you think so? WeD, I thought so myself 
thoo^ it may possibly have been die shadow of some- 
body else." 

Miss Lawrence here stopped, that she rai^t lan^ ; 
and as she laughed, her deep eyes woke up and shone 
like fire-flies glancing, to and fitJ. Very Spanbh rfie 
seemed then, and very Jewish withaL I had never seen 
a Spaniard I suppose then, but I conceive I had met 
with prints of Murillo's " Flower-giri ; " for her eyes 
were the only things I could think of while Miss Law- 
rence laughed. 

" At all events," she at last continued, " the * Tone- 
wreath ' is no shadow." I was astonished here to per* 
ceive that Clara had raised her eyes, — indeed, they 
looked ^Uy into those of the speaker. 

** He came from Germany, you can be sure at least." 

" Why so. Miss Benette ? " replied Miss Lawrence, 
graciously, but with a slight deference very touching 
from one so self-sustained. 

''Because it is only in that land they call music 
' Tone.' " 

" But still he may have visited Germany and listened 
to the Tongedicht ^ of Beethoven ; for he is not so long 
dead.'' And she sighed so deeply that I felt a deep 

^ Tone poem. 



THE LORD OF THE VIOUN. 167 

passion indeed must have exhaled that sigh. I got cut 
of my chair and ran to Lenhait Davy, for I saw him 
yet in the curtain. He detained me, sa3dng, " My dear 
litde boy, do stay by me and sit a while, that you may 
grow cahn ; for verily, Charles, your eyes are dancing 
ahnost out of your head. Besides, I should like you to 
see Mr. Santonio while he plays." 

" Will he turn his fece this way though, Mr. Davy? 
For he did not before." 

'' I particularly requested him to do so, and he agreed, 
on purpose that you mig^t look at him." In (act, San- 
tonio had taken up the gilt music-stand, and very cooDy 
turned it towards us, in the veiy centre of the company, 
who shrank widi awe fix>m his immediate presence, and 
left a circle round him. Then, as Mirandos, who bad 
to play a trifling negative accompaniment to the stringed 
solo, advanced to the piano, the lord of the violin turned 
round and nodded at me as he himself took his seat. 



CHAPER XXII. 

WE — that is, Miss Benette and Davy and I — 
came away from the Redfenis all in a hurry, 
just before supper, Santonio having informed us that he 
intended to stay. He indeed, if I recollect right, took 
Miss Lawrence down, and I have a dim remembrance 
of Mirandos poking haughtily in the background. 
Also I remember our conversation on returning home, 
and that Davy informed us Miss Lawrence was im- 
mensely rich. She had lost her mother when a baby, 
he said ; but I thought her very far from pitiable, — 
she seemed to do so exactly as she pleased. I had no 
idea of her age, and I did not think about it at all ; but 
Miss Benette said, " She is as independent as she is 
gifted, sir ; and she spoke to me like one who is very 
generous." 

"Yes, I should think so," said Davy, cheerfully 
" Santonio tells me she is a pupil of Milans-Andr^." 

" Oh ! " I cried, " how I wish I had known that." 

" Why so, my dear boy ? " 

" Because I would have asked her what he is like, — 
I do so want to know." 

" She does not admire him so wonderfully, Santonio 
says, and soon tired of his instructions. I suppose the 
fact is she can get on very well alone.'^ 

" But I wish I had asked her, sir," I again said, " be- 
cause we should be quite sure about the conductor." 



A COMPLIMENT FOR LENHART DAVY, 1 69 



<( 



But you forget Miss Lawrence was at the festival, 
Charles, and that she saw you there. Come ! my boy 
you are not vain." 

" No, sir, I don't think I am. Oh ! Miss Benette, 
you laughed ! " 

"Yes, Master Auchester, because you could be no 
more vain than I am." 

** Why not, Miss Benette ? " 

"Because we could neither of us be vain, side by 
side with our tone-master," she answered, with such a 
childlike single-heartedness that I was obliged to look 
at Davy to see how he bore it. It was very nearly dark, 
yet I could make out the lines of a smile upon his 
face. 

" I am very proud to be called so, Miss Benette ; but 
it is only a name in my case, with which I am well 
pleased my pupils should amuse themselves." 

" Master Auchester," exclaimed Miss Benette, with- 
out reply to Davy at all, " you can ask Miss Lawrence 
about Monsieur Milans-Andr^, if you please, for she is 
coming to see my work, and I think it will be to-morrow 
that she will come." 

" Oh, thank you. Miss Benette I I suppose Miss Law- 
rence said that to you when Mr. Davy called me away 
to him?" 

" I did not call you, Charles ; you came yourself." 

" But you kept me, sir," — and it struck me on the in- 
stant that Davy's delicate device ought not to have been 
touched upon ; so I felt awkward and kept silence. 

I was left at home first, and promised Clara I would 
come, should my mother and the weather agree to per- 
mit me. I was hurried to bed by Clo, who had sat up 
to receive me. I was disappointed at not seeing Milli- 
cent, with the unreasonableness which is exclusively fra- 



I JO CHARLES AUCHESTEM. 

ternal ; but Go in£3nned me that my mother would not 
permit her to 3tay out of \^&^ 

** And, Charles, you must not say one word to-ni^it, 
but eat this slice of bacon and diis egg directly, and let 
me take off your comforter.'* 

The idea of eating ^gs and bacon ! I managed the 
cgg^ hut it was all I could do, and she dien presented 
me with a cup of hot barley-water. Oh ! have you ever 
tasted barley-water, with a squeeze of lemoft-juice, after 
listening, to the violin? I drank it off, and was just 
about to make a rush at the door when Clo stopped me. 

"My dear Charles, Margareth is gone up to bed; 
stay until I can light you with my candle. And come 
into my room to undress, that you may not wake my 
mother by throwing your brush down.'" 

I was marched off impotent, she preceding me up- 
stairs with a stately step. But softly as we passed along, 
Millicent heard us ; she just opened a little bit of her 
door, and stooped to kiss me in her white dressing- 
gown. " I have chosen my instrument," I said, in a 
whisper, and she smiled. " Ah, Charles ! " 

I need not recapitulate my harangue the next mor- 
ning when I came down late and found only Millicent 
left to make my breakfast. I was expected to be idle, 
and the rest had gone out to walk. But I wondered, 
when I came to think, that I had been so careless as to 
omit asking Clara the hour fixed for Miss Lawrence's 
visit, — though, perhaps, was my after-thought, she did 
not know herself I need not have feared, though ; for 
while I was lying about on the sofa after our dinner, 
having been informed that I must do so, or I should not 
practise in the evening, in came Margareth with a little 
white note directed to *' Master Charles Auchester." 

" I am sure, Master Charles," said she, " you ought 




A NOTE FROM CLARA, 171 

to show it to my mistress, for the person that brought it 
was no servant in any family hereabouts, and looks more 
like a gypsy than anything else." 

** Well, and so it is a gypsy, Margareth. Of course I 
shall tell my mother, — I know all about it." 

Margareth wanted to know, I was sure, but I did not 
enlighten her further ; besides, I was in too great a hurry 
to break the seal, — a quaint little impression of an eagle 
carrying in his beak an oak-branch. The note was writ- 
ten in a hand full of character, yet so orderly it made 
me feel ashamed. It was as follows : — - 

Dear Sir, — The young lady is here, and I said you 

wished to come. She has no objection, and will stay to 

see you. 

Clara Benette. 

" How like her ! " I thought ; and then, with an unpar- 
donable impulse, — I don't defend myself in the least, — 
I flew out of the house as if my shoes had been made of 
satin. I left the note open upon the table (it was in 
the empty breakfast-room where I had been lolling), 
meaning thereby to save my credit, — like a simpleton 
as I was, for it contained not one word of explanation. 

A carriage was at the door of that corner house in St. 
Anthony's I^ne, — a dark-green carriage ; very hand- 
some, very plain, with a pair of beautiful horses : the 
coachman, evidently tired of waiting, was just going to 
turn their heads. 

When I got into the room upstairs, or rather while yet 
upon the stairs, I smelt some refined sort of foreign scent 
I had once before met with in my experience ; namely, 
when my mother had received a present of an Indian 
shawl in an Indian box, from an uncle of hers who had 
gone out to India and laid his bones there. When 1 



1/2 CHARLES AUC HESTER, 

really entered, Miss Lawrence, in a chair by the table, 
was examining some fresh specimens of Miss Benette's 
work outspread upon the crimson as before. I abruptly 
wished Clara good-day, and immediately her visitor held 
out her hand to me. This lady made me feel queer by 
daylight : I could not realize, scarcely recognize, her. 
She looked not so brilliant, and now I found that she was 
slightly sallow ; her countenance might have been called 
heavy, from its peculiar style. Still, I admired her eyes, 
though I discerned no more fireflies in her glance. She 
was dressed in a great shawl, — red, I think it was, — with 
a black bonnet and feather ; and her gloves were so 
loose, they seemed as if they would fall off. She had an 
air of even more fashionable ease than ever, and I, not 
knowing that it was fashionable ease, felt so abashed 
under its influence that I could not hold up my head. 

She went on talking about the work. I found she 
wished to purchase some ; but Clara would not part with 
any of that which was upon the table, because it was for 
the Quakers in Albemarle Square. But she was very 
willing to work specially for Miss Lawrence. I thought 
I had never seen Clara so calm, — I wondered she could 
be so calm ; at once she seemed to me like myself, — a 
child, so awfully grown-up did Miss Lawrence appear. 
I beheld, too, that the latter lady glanced often stealth- 
ily round and round the room, and I did not like her 
the better for it. I thought she was curious, and very 
fine besides ; so the idea of asking her about Milans- 
Andrd passed out of my brain completely. 

She had, as I said, been discussing the work. She 
gave orders for embroidered handkerchiefs, and was very 
particular about the flowers to be worked upon them ; 
and she gave orders for a muslin apron, to be surrounded 
with Vandykes, and to have vandyked pockets, — for 



\ 



AN EXTRAORDINARY DESCRIPTION 1 73 

a toilet cushion and veil ; and then she said : " Will 
you have the goodness to send them to tlie Priory when 
they are finished ? My friends live there, and will send 
them on to me. I wish to pay for them now," — and 
she laid a purse upon the table. 

" I think there is too much gold here, ma'am," said 
Clara, innocently. 

" I know precisely the cost of work, Miss Benette : 
such work as yours is, besides, priceless. Recollect, 
you find my materials. That is sufficient, if you please." 
And to my astonishment, and rather dread, she turned 
full upon me as I was standing at the table. 

" You wish to know what Milans-Andrd is like, Mas- 
ter Charles Auchester, — for that is your name, I find. 
Well, thus much : he is not like you, and he is not like 
Santonio, nor like the unknown conductor, nor like your 
favorite, Mr. Davy. He is narrow at the shoulders, with 
long arms, small white hands, and a handsome face, — 
rather too large for his body. He plays wonderfully, 
and fills a large theatre with one pianoforte. He is very 
amiable, but not kind ; and very famous, but not be- 
loved." 

" What an extraordinary description ! " I thought ; and 
I involuntarily added : " I thought he was your master." 

She seemed touched, and answered generously : " I 
am afraid you think me ungrateful, but I owe nothing 
to him. Ah! you owe far more to your master, Mr. 
Davy." 

I was pleased, and replied, " Oh ! I know that ; but I 
should like to hear Milans-Andr6 play." 

" You will be sure to hear him. He will, ere long, 
become common, and play everywhere. But if I had a 
piano here, I could show you exactly how he plays, and 
could play you a piece of his music.'^ 



174 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

I thoi^t it certainly a strange mistake in punctilio 
ibr Miss Lawrence to refer to the want of a piano in 
that room ; but I little knew her. She paased, too, as 
she said it, and looked at Clara. Clara did not bhish, 
nor did her sweet face change. 

''I am very sorry that I have no piano; I am to 
have one some day when I grow rich. But Mr. Davy is 
kind enough to teach me at his house, and I sing to his 
piano there. I wish I had one, though, that you might 
play, Miss Lawrence." 

The fire-flies all at once sparkled, almost dazzled, 
from the eyes of Miss Lawrence : a sudden glow, which 
was less color than light, beamed all over her face. I 
could tell she was enchanted about something or other, 
— at least she looked so. 

** Oh ! Miss Benette," she answered, in a genial tone, 
** you are very, very rich with such a voice as yours, and 
such power to make it perfect as you possess.** 

Clara smiled. "Thank you for saying so.** Miss 
Lawrence had risen to go, yet she still detained herself, 
as having something left to do or say. 

" I should like to see you both again, and to hear you. 
You, Miss Benette, I am sure of; but I also expect to 
discover something very wonderful about Master Charles 
Auchester. You are to be a smger, of course ? " she 
quickly said to me. 

" I hope I shall be a player, if I am to be anything." 
" What, another Santonio, or another Milans-Andr^ ? " 
" Oh I neither ; but I must learn the violin." 
" Oh I is that it? Have you begun, and how long?" 
"Not yet, — I have no violin; but I mean to begin 
very soon." 

" Only determine, and you will. Farewell ! " 

She had passed out, leaving a piaise upon the table, 



GENEROSITY. 1 75 

containing fifty guineas. Miss Benette opened it, 
turned out the coins one by one, and, full of trouble, 
said, " Oh ! whatever shall I do? I shall be so un- 
happy to keep it." 

"But that is wrong, Miss Benette, because you de- 
serve it. She is quite right." 

" No, but I will keep it, because she is generous, and 
I can see how she loves to give." 



CHAPTER XXin. 

LAURA was at the next class, I had almost forgotten 
her until I saw her eyes. I felt quite wicked 
when I perceived how thin and transparent the child 
had grown, — wicked to have thought so little of her in 
sofiering, while I had been enjo}Tng m}'sell I cannot 
give the least idea how large her eyes looked, — they 
quite frightened me. I was not used to see persons 
just out of illness. Her hair, too, was cut much 
shorter, and, altogether, I did not admire her so much. 
I felt myself again wicked for this very reason, and was 
quite unhappy about it She gave me a nod. Her 
cheeks were quite pale, and usually they were very 
pink : this also affected me deeply. Clara appeared to 
counter-charm me, and I saw no other immediately. 

" Ah, Laura, dear ! you are looking quite nice again, 
so pretty," said this sweet girl as she took her seat ; 
and then she stooped down and kissed the litde dancer. 

I found myself rather in the way; for to Clara it 
seemed quite natural to scatter happiness with her very 
looks. She turned to me, after whispering with Laura : 

"She wants to thank you for the flowers, but she 
does not like to speak to you." 

I was positively ashamed, and, to hide my confusion, 
said to Laura, " Do you like violets? " 

"Yes, but I like large flowers better. I like, red 
roses and blue cornflowers." 

I did not care for cornflowers myself, except among 
the corn ; and I thought it very likely Laura took the 



A PRESENTIMENT, 1 77 

poppies for roses ; still, I did not set her right, — it was 
too much trouble. But if I had known I should never 
see her again, — I mean, see her as she then was, — I 
should have taken more care to do her kindness. Is it 
not ever so ? Clara entirely engaged me ; in fact, I was 
getting quite used not to do without her. How well I 
remember that evening ! We sang a service. Davy had 
written several very simple ones, and I longed to per- 
form them in public, — that is to say, in the singing 
gallery of our church. But I might as well have 
aspired to sing them up in heaven, so utterly would 
they have been spurned as innovatory. 

It was this evening I felt for the first time what I 
suppose all boys feel at one time or another, — that they 
cannot remain always just as they are. It was no 
satiety, it was no disappointed hope, nor any vague 
desire. It was purely a conviction that some change 
was awaiting me. I suppose, in fact, it was a presenti- 
ment. The voices of our choir seemed thin and far 
away ; the pale cheek of Lenhart Davy seemed stamped 
with unearthly lustre; the room and roof were wider, 
higher; the evening colors, clustered in the shape of 
windows, wooed to that distant sky. I was agitated, 
ecstatic. I could not sing ; and when I listened, I was 
bewildered in more than usual excitement. Snatches 
of hymns and ancient psalms, morsels of the Bible, 
lullabies and bells, speeches of no significance, uttered 
years and, as it seemed, centuries ago, floated into 
ray brain and through it, despite the present, and made 
there a murmurous clamor, like the din of a mighty 
city wafted to the ear of one who stands on a com- 
manding hill. I mention this to prove that presenti- 
ment is not a fatuity, but something mysterious in its 
actuality, — > like love, like joy ; perhaps a passion of 

VOL. I. — 12 



178 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

memory, that anticipates its treasures and delights 
to be, 

" What beautiful words ! " said Clara, in a whisper 
that seemed to have more sweetness than other whis- 
pers, just as some shadows have more symmetry than 
other shadows. She meant, " Unto whom I sware in 
my wrath," and the rest. 

" Yes," I answered, " I like those words, all of them, 
and the way they are put. I always liked them when 
I was a little boy." 

It was very hard to Miss Benette not to reply here, 
I could tell, she so entirely agreed with me ; but Davy 
was recalling our attention. When the class was over, 
she resumed, — 

" I know exactly what you mean ; for I used to feel 
it at the old church in London, where I went with Mr. 
Davy's aunt, and could not see above the pew. it was 
so high*" 

" Did you like her, Miss Benette? Is she like him?" 

** No, not much. She is a good deal stricter, but she 
is exceedingly good ; taller than he is, with much darker 
eyes. She taught me so much, and was so kind to me, 
that I only wonder I did not love her a great deal 



more." 



1 felt rather aghast, for, to tell the truth, I only 
wonder when I love, — never when I am indifferent, as 
to most persons. As we were going out, I asked leave 
to come and practise on the morrow, — I felt I must 
come. I wonder what I should have done had she 
refused me ! " Certainly, Master Auchester." But she 
was looking after Laura. " Let me pin up that shawl, 
dear, and tie my veil upon your bonnet, — mind you 
wear it down in the street." The child certainly seemed 
to have put on her clothes in a dream, for her great 



A PRESENT. 179 

shawl trailed a yard behind her on the floor, and did 
not cover her shoulders at all. Her bonnet-strings, now 
very disorderly indeed, were entangled in a knot, 
which Clara patiently endeavored to divide. I waited 
as long as I dared, but Davy was staying for me I 
knew, and at last he waved his hand. I could no 
longer avoid seeing him, and said to Clara, " Good- 
night." She smiled, but did not rise ; she was kneeling 
before Laura. " Good-night, Miss Lemark." 

She only looked up. The large eyes seemed like 
the drops of rain after a drenching shower within the 
chalice of some wood anemone, — too heavy for the 
fragile face in which they were set, and from which they 
gazed as if unconscious of gazing. I thought to my- 
self, as I went out, she will die, I suppose ; but I did 
not tell Davy so, because of his reply when I had first 
spoken of Laura's illness. I felt very dispirited though, 
and shrank from the notion, though it still obtruded 
itself. Davy was very quiet I recollect it to have 
been a white foggy night, and more keen than cold : 
perhaps that was the reason, as he was never strong in 
health. When I came to our door — how well I 
remember it 1 — I pulled him in upon the mat before 
he well knew what I was about. 

" Oh ! Master Charles," exclaimed Margareth, who was 
exclusive porteress in our select establishment, "your 
brother has brought you a parcel, — a present, no doubt." 

" Oh ! my goodness ; where is Fred ? " 

"They are all in the parlor. But, sir, won't you 
walk in ? " 

" I beg your pardon," said Davy, absently. " Oh ! no ; 
I am going back. Good-night, Charles." 

" Oh, dear, Mr. Davy, do stay and see my present, 
please ! " 



l80 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

Davy did not answer here, for the parlor door opened, 
and my mother appeared, benign and hospitable. 

" Come in, come in ! " she said, extending her hand, 
and I at least was in before she was out of the 
parlor. Fred was there, and Fred's wife — a pretty 
bkick-haired little matron, full of trivialities and full of 
sympathy with Lydia — was sitting by that respected 
sister at a little table. I ran to shake hands with Mrs. 
Fred, and knocked over the table. Alas ! they were 
making bead purses, and for a few moments there was 
a restoration of chaos among their elements. Clo came 
from a dark comer, where she was wide awake over 
Dean Prideaux, and my mother had raised her hands 
in some dismay, when I was caught up by Fred and 
lifted high into the air. 

" Well, and what do I hear," etc. 

" Oh ! Fred, where is my present ? " 

" Present, indeed ! Such as it is, it lies out there. 
Nobody left it at the office, so Vincent tells me ; but I 
found it there among the packages, and was strongly 
inclined to consider it a mistake altogether. Certainly 
' Charles Auchester, Esq.,' was not * known there ; ' but 
I smelt plum-cake, and that decided me to have it 
opened here.'' 

I rushed to the chair behind the sofa, while the 
rest — except Millicent and Mr. Davy, who were 
addressing each other in the low voice which is the test 
of all human proprieties — were scolding in various 
styles. The fracas was no more to me than the jingling 
of the maternal keys. I found a large oblong parcel 
rolled in the thickest of brown papers, and tied with the 
thickest of strings round and round again so firmly that 
it was, or appeared to be, hopeless to open it unless I 
gnawed that cord. 



A REAL AM ATI VIOLIN. l8l 

" Oh ! Lydia, lend me your scissors." 

" For shame, Charles ! " pronounced Clo. " How 
often have I bidden you never to waste a piece of 
string ! " 

She absolutely began upon those knots with her 
fingers. My own trembled so violentiy that they were 
useless. Meanwhile, for she was about ten minutes 
engaged in the neat operation, — I scanned the address. 
It was, as Fred had mentioned to me, as an adult and 
as an esquire, and the writing was bold, black, and 
backward. It seemed to have come a long way, and 
smelt of travelling ; also, when the paper was at length 
unfolded, it smelt of tow, and something oblong was 
muffled in the tow. 

*' A box ! " observed sapient Clotilda. I tore the tow 
out in handfuls. " Don't strew it upon the carpet, 
oh, my dearest Charles ! " 

Clo, I defy you ! It was a box truly, but what sort 
of a box? It had a lid and a handle. It was also 
fastened with little hooks of brass. It was open, I don't 
know how. There it lay, — there lay a real violin in the 
velvet lining of its varnished case ! 

No, I could not bear it ; it was of no use to try. I 
did not touch it, nor examine it. I flew away upstairs. 
I shut myself into the first room I came to, which hap- 
pened to be Lydia's ; but I did not care. I rushed up 
to the window and pressed my face against the cold 
glass. I sobbed; my head beat like a heart in my 
brain ; I wept rivers. I don't suppose the same thing 
ever happened to any one else, therefore none can 
sympathize. It was mystery, it was passion, it was in- 
finitude ; it was to a soul like mine a romance so deep 
that it has never needed other. My violin was mine, 
and I was it, and the beauty of my romance was, in 



1 82 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

truth, an ideal channer ; for be it remembered that I 
knew no more how to handle it than I should have 
known how to conduct at the festival 

The first restoring feet I experienced was the thin 
yet rich vibration of that very violin. I heard its voice, 
somebody was trying it, — Davy, no doubt; and that 
marvellous quality of tone which I name a double one- 
ness — resulting, no doubt, firom the so often treated har- 
monics — reached and pierced me up the staircase and 
through the closed door. I could not endure to go 
down, and presently when I had begun to feel rather 
ghostly — for it was dead dark — I heard somebody 
come up and grope first here, then there, overhead and 
about, to find me. But I would not be found until all 
the places had been searched where I did not happen to 
be hidden. Then the person came to my door. It was 
Millicent ; she drew me into the passage. 

" Oh ! I can't go down." 

" Darling do, for my sake. They are all so pleased. 
Mr. Davy has been playing, and he says it is a real 
Amati." 

" But don't let Fred touch it, please, Millicent ! " For 
I had a vague idea it would not like to be touched by 
Fred. 

" Why, no one can touch it but Mr. Davy, — not even 
you^ Charles. Do come downstairs now and look at it." 

I went Mr. Davy was holding it yet, but the instant 
I entered he advanced and placed it between my arms. 
I embraced it, much as young ladies embrace then: first 
wax dolls, but with emotions as sweet, as deep, as mys- 
tical as those of the youth who first presses to his soul 
the breathing presence of his earliest love. I saw then 
that this violin was a tiny thing, — a very fairy of a fiddle ; 
it was certainly not new, but I did not know how very 



IS SANTO mo TO TRY IT? 1 83 

old it was, and should not have been the least aware how 
valuable it was, and of what a precious costliness, but 
for Davy's observation, " Take care of it, Charles, and it 
will make you all you wish to be. I rather suspect San- 
tonio will envy you its possession when he has tried it" 
" But is he to try it, then, Mr. Davy ? " 
" Your mother has given me leave to ask him, if I see 
him ; but I fear he has already returned to London." 
Davy glanced here at my mother with a peculiar ex- 
pression, and resumed, " I am going to write to him, 
at all events, about another subject, or rather upon th^ 
same subject" 

*' Oh, Mr. Davy, I will talk to my little boy myself." 
** Certainly, madam ; I will not anticipate you." 
" Charles dear," said Clo, *' you must have your sup- 
per now " 

It appeared to me that I had already had it ; but I re- 
stored my doll to its cradle in silence, and ate uncon- 
sciously. Fred's presence at the board stimulated his 
lady and Lydia to extreme festivity, and they laughed 
the whole time ; but Millicent was pale and Davy quiet, 
and he departed as soon as he possibly might But a 
smile of sweetness all his own, and of significance 
sweeter than sweetness, brightened his frank adieu for 
me into the day-spring of my decided destiny. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

THE next tnofning my mother redeemed her prom- 
ise. It was direcdy after breakfast when she had 
placed herself in the chair at the parlor window. She 
made no allusion to the evening before until she com- 
pleted this arrangement of hers, and then she looked so 
serious, as I stood before her, that I fully expected some- 
thing I should not like. 

" Charles," she said, " you are very dear to me, and 
perhaps you have given me more care than all my chil- 
dren, though you are the youngest. I have often won- 
dered what you would be or become as a member of 
society, and it was the last of all my thoughts for you 
that you must leave me to be educated. But if you are 
to be a musician, you must be taken from me soon, 
or you will never grow into what we should both of us 
desire, — a first-rate artist I could not wish you to 
be anything less than first rate, and now you are very 
backward." 

"Am I to go to London then, mother?" I shook in 
every limb. 

" I believe a first-rate musical education for you in 
London would be beyond my means. It is upon this 
subject your friend Mr. Davy is to be so good as to 
write to Santonio, who can tell us all about Germany, 
where higher advantages can be obtained more easily 
than anywhere in England. But, Charles, you will have 
to give up a great deal if you go, and learn to do every- 



/ AM TO BE A MUSICIAN, 1 8$ 

thing for yourself. If you are ill, you will have to do 
without nursing and petting as you would have here ; 
and if you are unhappy, you must not complain away 
from home. Also you must work hard, or you will lose 
your free self-approval, and be miserable at the end. I 
should be afraid to let you go if I did not know you are 
musical enough to do your duty by music, and loving 
enough to do your duty by your mother ; also, that you 
are a true boy, and will not take to false persons. But it 
is hard to part with you, my child; and indeed, we 
need not think of that just yet." 

I did though, I am ashamed to say ; and I wanted to 
set off on the next day. I knew this to be impossible, 
and the fact that consoled me was the very one of my 
unstrung ignorance ; for I had a vague impression that 
Davy would tune me up before I left home. I could 
not see him that morning. My excitement was intense > 
I could not even cut a caper, for I had to do my lessons, 
and Clo always behaved about my lessons as if they 
were to go on forever, and I was by no means to grow 
any older. She was especially stationary on this morn- 
ing, and I had nothing for it but to apply very hard 
indeed. My copy was more crabbed than ever; but 
while she commented so gravely thereupon, I thought 
of what Santonio had said about my arm and hand. I 
was not vain, — I have not a tincture of vanity all through 
me, — but I was very proud, and also most demurely 
humble. 

At dinner Millicent talked to me of my prospects ; 
but I pretended not to admit tliem in all their magnifi- 
cence : the prophetic longing was so painful to me that 
I dared not irritate it. So she rallied me in vain, and I 
ate a great deal of rice pudding to simulate occupation. 
Dinner over, they all retired to their rooms, — I to my 



1 86 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

violin in a comer of the parlor. I hung over it as it lay 
in its case, I fed upon it in spirit ; but I did not take it 
out, I was afraid of any one coming in. At last I spread 
ray pocket-handkerchief upon the case, and sitting down 
upon it, went to sleep in scarcely conscious possession. 
I did not dream anything particular, though I suppose I 
ought to have done so, and it had been better for these 
unilluminated pages ; but when I awoke it was late, — 
that is, late for my engagement with Miss Benette. 

I ran all the way ; and as I reached my resting-place, 
it occurred to me that I should have to tell her I was 
going to Germany. How glad she would be, and yet a 
little sorry ; for I had an idea she liked me, or I should 
never have gone near her. Vaulting into the passage, 
I heard strange sounds — singing, but not only singing. 
More and more wonders, I thought, and I dashed up- 
stairs. The sounds ceased when I knocked at the door, 
which Clara came to open. I gazed in first, before I 
even noticed her, and beheld in the centre of the room 
a small polished pianoforte. I flew in and up to it, and 
breathlessly surveyed it. 

" Miss Benette, where did that come fix)m ? I thought 
you were not to have a pianoforte for ever so long." 

She came to me, and replied with her steady, sweet 
voice a little agitated, — 

" Oh ! Master Auchester, I wish you could tell roe who 
it came from, that I might give that person my heart 
quite full of thanks. I can only believe it comes from 
some one who loves music more than all things, — some 
one rich, whom music has made richer than could all 
money. It is such a sweet, darling, beautiful thing to 
come to me ! Such a precious glory to make my heart 
so bright I " 

The tears filled her eyes, and looking at her, I per- 



/ TELL CLARA I AM GOING TO GERMANY. 1 87 

ceived that she had lately wept ; the veins of harebell- 
blue seemed to quiver round the lids. 

'' Ohy Miss Benette \ I had a violin sent to me 
too, and I thought it was from Mr. Davy ; but now I 
feel quite sure it was from that lady," 

Clara could scarcely speak, — I had never seen her so 
overcome ; but she presently answered, — 

** I believe it was the young lady. I hope so, be- 
cause I should like her to be made happy by remem- 
bering we have both got through her what we wanted 
more than anything in the world. She would not like 
to be thanked, though \ so we ought not to grieve that 
we cannot express oiur gratitude." 

''I should like to know really, though, because it 
seems so strange she should recollect tne!^ 

" Oh, Master Auchester, no I Any one can see the 
music in your face who has the music in his heart Be- 
sides, she saw you at the festival, and how anxious you 
were to serve the great gentleman." 

** Now, Miss Benette, I am to tell you something." 

" How good ! Do go on." 

I laid my arm on the piano, but scarcely knew how to 
begin. 

" What is it to do, then? " asked Clara, winningly. 

" I am going really to be a musician, Miss Benette ; I 
am going to Germany." 

She did not reply at first ; but when I looked up, it 
was as though she had not wept, so bright she beamed. 

" That 's all right, I knew you would. Oh ! if she 
knew how much good she had done, how happy she 
would be ! How happy she will be when she goes to a 
concert some day, in some year to come, and sees you 
stand up, and hears you praise music in the voice it 
loves best ! " 



1 88 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

^ Do joa think 30? Do joa tfamk il is tibe bestmke 
of nmsk:?'^ 

**• Because it is like the roice of a sii^e soul, I do. 
Bat Mr. Daiy says we cazuioc know the power of an 
orchestra of soals-" 

**/can." 

** Oh ! I beg yoor pardoa ! I forgot-" 

^ Bat I don't think that I remember well ; for when- 
ever I try to think of it^ I seem only to see his &ce, 
and hear his roice speaking to me^ sarzng, ^ Aboie aD, 
the litde ones \ ' " 

'* How pretty it was ! Yon will be sore to see him in 
Germany, and then yon can ask him wiiether he wrote 
the ' Tone-Wreath/ " 

Oh, how I laughed again ! 

^ What sort of place shall I go to, shook! yoo think? " 

** I don*t know any place really, Master Aochester. 
I can't ten what places they hare to learn at, upon the 
Continent I know no places besides this house, and 
Mr. Davy's, and the class, and church, and ^iiss Len- 
harfs house in London." 

"Are you not very dull?" 

Alas for the excitable nature of ray own tempera- 
ment ! I was sure I should be dull in her place, though 
I had never felt it until my violin came upon me, 
stealthy and stirring as first love. She looked at me 
with serene wonder. 

"I don't know what *dull' means. I do not want 
anything I have not got, because I shall have everything 
I want, — some day, I mean ; and I would rather not 
have all at once." 

I did not think anything could be wanting to her, 
indeed, in loveliness or aspiration, for my religious be- 
lief was in both for her ; still I fancied it impossible she 



LAURA TV GO TO PARIS. 189 

should not sometimes feel impatient, and especially as 
those blue shadows I have mentioned had softened the 
sweetness of her eyes, and the sensation of tears stole 
over me as I gazed upon her. 

''We shall not practise much, I am afraid. Master 
Auchester, for I want to talk, and I am so silly that 
when I sing, I begin to cry." 

" For pleasure, I suppose. I always do.** 
** Not all for pleasure. I am vexed, and I do not 
love myself for being vexed. Laura is going to Paris, 
Master Auchester, to study under a certain master there. 
Her papa is going too, and that woman I do not like. 
She is unhappy to leave me, but they have filled her 
bead with pictures, and she is wild for the big theatres. 
She came to see me this morning, and I talked to her a 
long time. It was that made me cry." 
Why, particularly? " 

Because I told her so many things about the sort of 
people she will see, and how to know what is beautiful 
in people who are not wise. She promised to come and 
live with me when I have been to Italy, and become a 
singer ; but till then, I shall, perhaps, never meet her, 
for our ways are not the same. She looked with her 
clear eyes right through me, to see if I was grave ; and 
if she only finds her art is fair, I shall not be afiraid for 
her." 

" But is she not ill? I never saw anybody look so 
strange." 

"That is because her hair is shorter. You do not 
like her, Master Auchester?" 

I shook my shoulders. " No ; not a great deaL" 
" You will tr)', please. She will be an artist" 
" But don't you consider, — of course I don't know, 
— but don't you consider dancing the lowest art ? " 



it 
it 






190 CHARLES ACCMESTEJL 

''Oily Master Aochcster 1 aH tbc sts help cachocfaex; 
and are ail in themselves so p«ise thsic wc canooc s^ 
one is purer than the other. Resiririy was it not ia 
the dream of that Jew, in the Bibk, tiiat the angeis 
descended as well as ascended?" 

^ You are like V^rtin Lntnpr,'^ 

"Why 50?" 

'^Clo — that is nxf dever sister — toid me what he 
said about the arts and religion.'' 
Oh, Mr. Davy tells that story." 
Miss Benette, you are very nangbty ! Yoa seem to 
know everytiiing that everybody says." 

" No ; it is because I see so few people that I re- 
member all they say." 

" Are you not at all f<»ider of mosic than of dancing? 
Oh, Miss Benette ! " 

She laughed heartily, showing one or two of her 
twinkling teeth. 

" I am fcmder of mask: dian of anythmg diat fives 
or is, or rather I am not fond of it at all ; bat it is 
my life, though I am only a 3roung child in that life 
at present But I am rather fond of dancing, I most 
confess." 

" I think it is charming ; and I can dance very well, 
particularly on the top of a walL But I do not care 
about it, you know." 

" You mean, it is not enough for yon to make you 
either glad or sorry. But be thankful that it is enough 
for some people." 

'' All things make me glad, and sorry too, I dunk, 
going away now. When I come back — " 

" I shall be gone," said Clara. 

" I shall be a man — " 

" And I an old woman — " 



VOtfS OF FJUENDSaiP. 191 

** For sham^ Miss BeDCtte ! joa inl nerer grow old^ 
I believe.'' 

" Oh, yes, I shaH ; but I do not mind, it wOl be like 
a summer to grow okL" 

*' I am sure it will ! " I cried, with an enthusiasm that 
seemed to sorprise her, so miconscious was she ever of 
any effect she had. 

^ Bat I shall grow old too ; and there is not so very 
much difference between os. So then I shall seem your 
age ; and. Miss Benette, when I do grow up, will yott 
be my friend?" 

" Always, Master Auchester, if you still WKh it And 
in my heart I do believe that friends are friends for* 



ever." 



The sweet smile she gave me, the sweeter words 
she spoke, were sufficient to assure me I should not be 
forgotten ; and it was all I wished, for then my heart 
was fixed upon my future. 

" But you will not be going to-morrow, I suppose?** 

** No, I wish I were." 

" So do I." 

" Thank you," said I, rather disconcerted ; " I shall 
go very soon, I suppose." 

" It will not be long, I daresay," she answered, with 
another sweetest smile ; and I felt it to be her kind wish 
for me, and was consoled. And when I left her she 
was standing quietly by her piano; nor did she raise 
her eyes to follow me to the door. 

By one of those curious chances that befall some 
people more than others, I had a cold the next class- 
night. I was in an extremity of passion to be kept at 
home, — that is to say, I rolled in my stifling bed with 
the sulks pressing heavily on my heart, and the head- 
ache upon my forehead. Millicent sat by me, and 



192 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

laughingly assured me I should soon be quite well again ; 
I solemnly averred I should never be well, should never 
get up, should never see Davy any more, never go to Ger- 
many. But I went to sleep after all ; for Davy, with his 
usual philanthropy, came all the way up to the house to 
inquire for me after the class, and his voice aroused and 
soothed me together. I may say that such a cold was a 
godsend just then, as it prevented my having to do any 
lessons. The next day, being idle, I heard nothing of 
Davy ; neither the next. I thought it very odd ; but on 
the third morning I was permitted to go out, as it was 
very clear and bright. The smoke looked beautiful, 
almost like another kind of flame, as it swelled skywards, 
and I met Davy quite glowing with exercise. 

*' What a day for December ! *' said he, and cheerily 
held up a letter. 

" Oh, Mr. Davy 1 " I cried ; but he would not suffer 
me even to read the superscription. 

** First for your mother. Will you turn back and 
walk home with me?" 

" I must not, sir ; I am to walk to the turnpike and 
back." 

*' Away, then ! and I am very glad to hear it" 

To do myself justice, I did not even run. I could, 
indeed, for all my impatient hope, scarcely help feeling 
there is no such blessing as pure fresh air that fans a 
brow whose fever has lately faded. I came at length to 
the toll-gate, and returned, braced for any adventure, 
to the door of my own home. I flew into the parlor ; 
my mother and Davy were alone. My mother was 
wiping off" a tear or two, and he seemed smiling on 
purpose. 

" Oh, mother ! " I exclaimed, running up to her, 
"please don't cry." 



A LETTER FROM S ANTONIO, 1 93 

" My dear Charles, you are a silly little boy. After 
all, what will you do in Germany?" 

She lifted me upon her lap. Davy walked up to the 
book-case. 

" I find, Charles, that you must go immediately, — 
and, indeed, it will be best if you travel with Mr. San- 
tonio. And how could I send you alone, with such an 
opportunity to be taken care of! Mr. Davy, will you 
have the kindness to read that letter to my little boy ? " 

Davy, thus -admonished, gathered up the letter now 
lying open upon the table, and began to read it quite in 
his class voice, as if we two had been an imposing 
audience. 

Dear Madam, — Although I have not had the pleasure 
of an introduction to you, I think the certificate of my cog- 
nizance by my friend Davy will be suflBicient to induce you 
to allow me to take charge of your son at the end of this 
week, if he can then be ready, as I must leave England 
then, and return to Paris by the middle of February. Be- 
tween this journey and that time I shall be in Germany to 
attend the examinations of the Cecilia School at Lorbeer- 
stadt.^ The Cecilia School now is exactly the place for 
your son, though he is six months too young to be ad- 
mitted. At the same time, if he is to be admitted at a,)l, 
he should at once be placed under direct training, and there 
are out-professors who undertake precisely this responsi- 
bility. My own experience proves that anything is better 
than beginning too late, or beginning too soon to work 
alone. I have made every inquiry which could be a proviso 
with you. 

" Then here follows what would scarcely interest you," 
said Davy, breaking off. 

^ The Cecilia School at Lorbeerstadt is probably intended 
to represent the Conservatory at Leipsic, which Mendelssohn 
founded in 1843. 
VOL. I. — 13 



194 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

" Your &:end is quite right, Cbaries. Xotr can yoa 
say yo'i are sire I may put fiirth in yoa?'' 

•* U"nat do you mean, mother? If yoa mean that I 
am to practise, indeed I will ; I never want to do any- 
thing else, and I won't have any money to spend." 

Davy came up to us and smiled : ** I really think he 
is safe. You will let him come to me one evening, dear 
madam?" 

" Periiaps you can come to us. I really do not think 
we can spare him ; we have so much to do in the way of 
preparation." 

It was an admirable providence that my whole time 
was, from morning to night, taken up with my family. 
My sisters, assisted by Margareih, made me a dozen 
shirts, and hemmed for me three dozen handkerchiefs. 
I was being measured or fitted all day, and all ttie 
evening was running up and down stairs with the com- 
pleted items. Oh ! if you had seen my boxes you 
would have said that I ought to be very good to be so 
cared for, and very beautiful besides ; yet I was neither, 
and was sorely longing to be away, — such kindness pained 
me more than it pleased. I had a littie jointed bed, 
which you would not have believed was a bed until it was 
set up. My mother admonished me if I found my bed 
comfortable to keep that in my box ; but she had some 
experience of German beds, and English ones too, un- 
der certain circumstances. I had a gridiron, and a cof- 
fee-pot, a spirit-lamp, and a case containing one knife 
and fork, one plate, one spoon. I had everj^thing I 
could possibly want, and felt dreadfully bewildered. Clo 
was marking my stockings one morning when Davy 
came in ; he gave me one of his little brown boxes, and 
in the box was a single cup and saucer of that glowing, 
delicate china. When he pulled it out of his pocket I 



DA VY HAS AN ENGA CEMENT IN LONDON 1 95 

little knew what it was, and when I found out, how I 
cried ! 

" I have, indeed, brought you a small remembrance, 
Charles ; but I am a small man, and you are a small 
boy, and I understand you are to have a very small 
establishment." 

He said this cheerily, but I could not laugh ; he put 
his kind arm round me, and I only wept the more. Clo 
was all the time quite seriously, as I have said, tracing 
ineffaceably my initials m German text, with crimson 
cotton, — none of your delible inks, — and Davy pre- 
tended to be very much interested in them. 

"What ! all those stockings, Charles?" 

" Yes, sir : you see we have provided for summer and 
winter," responded Clo, as seriously as I have mentioned. 
" He will not want any till we see him again, for he is to 
pay us a visit, if God spares him, next Christmas." 

Davy sighed, and kissed my forehead; I clung to 
him. " Shall I see you again, Mr. Davy? " 

" I have come to ask your mother whether I may take 
you to London ; it is precisely what I came for, and I 
have a little plan." 

Davy had actually an engagement in London, or 
feigned to have one, — I have never been able to discover 
whether it was a fact or a fiction ; and he proposed to my 
mother that I should sleep with him at his aunt's house 
one night before I was deposited at the hotel where San- 
tonio rested, and to which he had advised I should be 
brought. 

I was in fits of delight at the idea of Davy's company ; 
yet, after all, I did not have much of that, for he trav- 
elled to London on the top of the coach, and I was an 
inside passenger at my mother's request. 

Then comes a sleep of memory, not unaccompanied 



I yS CHAi-LL:^ A I'ZSESTEJL 



Of caxaSf — a OFoafe <£ i^opg jassncc n£> s rrrvr v^ a 
kt^^ acsii ^ jacar.;T;.'g iniTfieJf &:> thz: I c^dif lec sir 
£a:>i <M ifjOL t^xmiAOi Qts aac :b£ vTbLknr: & -occzib 
<.)d^ Of::$^^anCUt tSfjm to eacrka^e :=;39djf : a iSirj.r, of 
:^v:^r^ rtriyCStf od^ilri ak. sad L^ scsrs jercod jrad uos« 
tiut £r>:2i«ti^ £ czftck^ htxiu s. r.^K'Tr:^ 'irrrrrz. : a drram 
<^ 4ark i::i a bsckaejKJQcuij, asd oi ia£jp|;iGii;§ 2^ a scly 
itn&et uofjst. a aitSEZrj'viiidc/vtd iz^zsaciG:. as it secBPcd 
to toe. Tata I zm zwsjt *jj iljs hoar ci a cease bead- 
;kJxv vA ijfX^A ZiSLf^Si laxxLbd. togeuaer^ ul taoc ar- 
nrt^ tiae vord sigptmart: reaiinr can ix^eed, — ihe smdl 
of V/ai^ty mdfim, asd tea : uie feeiisg of a kniie and 
(f/rk y^ri cannrA manstgt Ux skepfjiDess ; and the otter 

I o>i>iki not e^en look at Miss Lenbait ; bat I heard 
that her voice was going on all the time* and fek that 
she looked at me now and then. I W2ts conreyed into 
bed by Davy without any exercise on my own part, 
and I slumbered in that sleep which absorbs aH time, tin 
very l^ht day. Then I awoke and foond myself alone, 
though iJavy had left a neat impression in the great soft 
t>e^L Presently I heard his steps, and his fingers on the 
WM> He brought my breakfast in his own hand, and 
while I forced myself to partake of it, he told me he 
fihould carry me to Santonio at two o'clock, the steam- 
Ix^at leaving London Bridge at six the same evening. 
And at two o'clock we arrived at the hotel In a lofty 
apartment sat Santonio near a table laid for dinner. 

I beheld my boxes in one comer, and my violin-case 
strapped to the largest ; but all Santonio*s luggage con- 
sisted of that case of his which had been wrapped up 
warm in baize, and one portmanteau. He arose and wel- 
comed us with a smile most amiable ; and having shaken 
hands with Davy, took hold of both mine and held them, 



LONDON BRIDGE. 1 97 

while still rallying in a few words about our punctuality. 
Then he rang for dinner, and I made stupendous efforts 
not to be a baby, which I should not have been sorry to 
find myself at that instant. The two masters talked to 
gether without noticing me, and presently I recovered ; 
but only to be put upon the sofa, which was soft as a 
powder-puff, and told to go to sleep. I made magnifi- 
cent determinations to keep awake, but in vain ; and it 
was just as well I could not, though I did not think so 
when I awoke. For just then starting and sitting up, I 
beheld a lamp upon the table, and heard Santonio's 
voice in the entry, haranguing a waiter about a coach. 
But looking round and round into every corner I saw no 
Davy, and I cannot describe how I felt when I found 
he had kissed me asleep, and gone away altogether. As 
San ton io re-entered, the sweet cordiality with which he 
tempered his address to me was more painful than the 
roughest demeanor would have been just then, thrilling 
as I was with the sympathy I had never drawn except 
from Davy' s heart, and which I had never lost since I 
had known him. It was as if my soul were suddenly 
unclad, and left to writhe naked in a sunless atmos- 
phere ; still I am glad to say I was grateful to Santonio. 
It was about five o'clock when we entered a hackney- 
coach, and were conveyed to the city from the wide West 
End. The great river lay as a leaden dream while we ran 
across the bridge; but how dreamily, drowsily, I can 
never describe, was conveyed to me that arched dark- 
ness spanning the lesser gloom as we turned down dank 
sweeping steps, and alighted amidst the heavy splash of 
that rolling tide. There was a confusion and hurry 
here that mazed my faculties ; and most dreadfully 
alarmed I became at the thought of passing into that 
vessel set so deep into the water, and looking so large 



198 CHARLES A UC HESTER. 

and helpless. I was on board, however, before I could 
calculate the possibilities of running away, and so getting 
home again. Santonio put his arm around me as I 
crossed to the deck, and I could not but feel how care- 
ful the great violin was of the little human instrument 
committed to his care. Fairly on deck, the whirling 
and booming, the crowd not too great, but so busy 
and anxious, the head-hung lamp, and the cheery 
peeps into cabins lighter still through glittering wires, 
all gave motion to my spirit I was soon more excited 
than ever, and glorified myself so much that I very 
nearly fell over the side of the vessel into the Thames, 
while I was watching the wheel that every now and then 
gave a sleepy start from the oily, dark water. Santonio 
was looking after our effects for a while, but it was he 
who rescued me in this instance, by pulling my great- 
coat (exactly like Fred's) that had been made expressly, 
for me in the festival-town, and which, feeling very new, 
made me think about it a great deal more than it was 
worth. Then laughing heartily, but still not speaking, 
he led me downstairs. How magnificent I found all 
there ! I was quite overpowered, never having been in 
any kind of vessel ; but what most charmed me was a 
glimpse of a second wonderful region within the long 
dining-room, — the feminine retreat, whose door was a 
little bit ajar. 

The smothered noise of gathering steam came from 
above, and most strange was it to hear the many footed 
tramp overhead, as we sat upon the sofa, and spread 
beneath the oval windows all around. And presently I 
realized the long tables, and all that there was upon 
them, and was especially delighted to perceive some 
flowers mounted upon the epergnes. 

I was cravingly hungry by this time^ for the first time 



A NIGHT AT SEA. 199 

since I had left my home, and everything here reminded 
me of eating. Santonio, I suppose, anticipated this fact, 
for he asked me immediately what I should like. I said 
I should like some tea and a slice of cold meat. He 
seemed amused at my choice, and while he drank a glass 
of some wine or other and ate a crust, I had all to my- 
self a little round tray, with a short, stout tea-pot and 
enormous breakfast cup set before me ; with butter as 
white as milk, and cream as thick as butter, the butter 
being developed in a tiny pat, with the semblance of the 
steamship we were then in stamped upon the top ; also 
a plate covered with meat all over, upon beginning to 
clear which, I discovered another cartoon in blue of the 
same subject. After getting to the bottom of the cup, 
and a quarter uncovering the plate, I could do no more 
in that line, and Santonio asked me what I should like to 
do about sleeping. I was startled, for I had not thought 
about the coming night at all. He led me on the instant 
to a certain other door, and bade me peep in ; I could 
only think of a picture I had seen of some catacombs, 
— in fact, I think a catacomb preferable in every respect 
to a sleeping cabin. The odors that rushed out, of 
brandy and lamp-oil, were but visionary terrors compared 
with the aspect of those supernaturally constructed en- 
closed berths, in not a few of which the victims of that 
entombment had already deposited themselves. 

" 1 can't sleep in there ! " I said shudderingly as I 
withdrew, and withdrawing, was inexpressibly revived 
by the air blowing down the staircase. " Oh, let us sit 
up all night ! on the sea too ! " 

Santonio replied, with great cordiality, that he should 
prefer such an arrangement to any other, and would see 
what could be contrived for me. 

And so he did ; and I can never surpass my own sen- 



200 CHARLES AUC HESTER. 

sadons of mere satisfaction as I lay upon a seat on deck 
by ten o'clock, with a boat-cloak for my pillow and a 
tarpaulin over my feet, Santonio by my side, with a 
cloak all over him like a skin, his feet on his fiddle-case, 
and an exquisitely fiagrant regalia in his mouthr 

My feelings soon became those of careering ecstasy, 
— careering among stars all clear in the darkness over us ; 
of passionate delight, rocked to a dream by the undula- 
tion I began to perceive in our seaward motion. I fell 
asleep about midnight, and woke again at dawn ; but I 
experienced just enough then of existing circumstances 
in our position to retreat again beneath the handkerchief 
I had spread upon my £u:e, and again I slept and 
dreamed. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

AT noon, when at length I roused myself, we were 
no longer upon the sea. We swept on tranquilly 
between banks more picturesque, more glorious, more 
laden with spells for me, than any haven I had fortified 
with Spanish castles. Castles there were too, or what I 
took for castles, — silvery gray amidst leafless trees, and 
sometimes softest pine woods with their clinging mist. 
Then came shining country, where the sky met the sun- 
bright slopes, and then a quiet sail at rest in the tiny 
harbor. But an hour or two brought me to the idea of 
cities, though even they were as cities in a dream. And 
yet this was not the Rhine ; but I made sure it was so, 
having forgotten Clo's geography lessons, and that there 
could be any other river in Germany, — so that when 
Santonio told me its real name I was very angry at it. 
After I had wearied myself with gazing, he drew me 
back to my seat, and began to speak more consecutively 
than he had done yet. 

" Now, sir," said he, " do you see that castle?" point- 
ing to something in the prospect which may or may not 
have been a castle, but which I immediately realized 
as one. "You are to be shut up there. Really and 
seriously, you have more faith than any one I ever 
had the honor of introducing yet, under any circum- 
stances whatever. Pray don't you feel any curiosity 
about your destination?" 



202 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

" Yes, sir, plenty ; but I forgot what I was going for." 

" And where you were going to ? " 

*' Sir, I did not know where. I thought you would 
tell me when you liked." 

" I don't know myself, but I daresay we shall fall in 
with your favorite * Chevalier.' " 

"My favorite who, sir?" 

"The gentleman who enslaved you at the perfor- 
mance of the ' Messiah,' in your part of the world." 

" Oh, sir ! what can I ever say to you ? I cannot 
bear it." 

"Cannot bear what? Nay, you must not expect too 
much of him now you know who he is. He is merely 
a very clever composer." 

" Oh, sir ! how did you ever find out? " 

" By writing to Milans-Andr6, — another idol for you, 
by the way." 

" Oh ! I know all about Milans-Andr^." 

*' Indeed ! and pray what is all about him ? " 

" I know he plays wonderfully, and fills a large theatre 
with one pianoforte. Stop ! He has a handsome face 
and long arms, — rather too long for his body. He is 
very — let me see — something, but not something else ; 
very famous, but not beloved." 

" Who told you that? A most coherent description, as 
it happens." 

''Miss Lawrence." 

" Miss Lawrence is a blab. So you have no curiosity 
to learn your fate? " 

" I know that ; but I should like to know where I am 
going." 

" To an old gentleman in a hollow cave." 

" I wish I were, and then peVhaps he would teach me 
to make gold." 



DISCIPLINE. 203 

*• That is like a Jew, fie I But the fiddle has made 
gold." 

" Why like a Jew ? Because they are rich, — Jews, I 
mean ? " 

** Richer generally than most folks, but not all either." 

" Oh, sir ! I did not mean money." But as I looked at 
him,' I felt he would not, could not, understand what I 
meant, so I returned to the former charge. 

"Does he live in a cellar, sir, or in a very old 
house ? " 

"In an old house, certainly. But you won't like 
him, Auchester, — at least not at first ; only he will work 
you rightly, and take care of your morals and health.*' 

'*How, sir?" 

" By locking you up when you are at home, and send- 
ing you to walk out every day." 

" Don't they all send the boys out to walk in Germany 
then?" 

*' I suppose so. But how shall you like being locked 
up?" 

" In the dark, sir, do you mean ? " 

" No, boy ; to practise in a little cave of your own." 

" What does make you call it a cave ? " 

'* Because great treasures are hidden there for such as 
like the bore of grubbing them up. You have no idea, 
by the way, how much dirty work there is to do any- 
thing at all in music." 

'* I suppose you mean, to get at anything. But it 
cannot be worse than what people go through to get to 
heaven." 

" If that is your notion, you are all right. I have 
taken some trouble to get you into this place, for the old 
gentleman is a whimsical one, and takes very few pupils 



DOW." 



204 CHARLES A UC HESTER. 

'* Did you know him, sir, before you heard of him for 
me?" 

" He taught me all I know, except what I taught my- 
self, and that was preciously little. But that was before 
he came to Lorbeerstadt. I knew nothing about this 
place. Your favorite learned of him when he was your 
age, and long afterwards." 

" Who, sir, — the same ? " 

" The conductor." 

" Oh, sir 1 " It was a dreadful thing to feel I had, as 
it were, got hold of him and lost him again ; but San- 
tonio's manner was such that I did not thmk he could 
mean the same person. 

" Are you sure it is the same, Mr. Santonio ? " I reiter- 
ated again, and yet again, while my companion, whose 
laugh had passed into a yawn, was gazing at the smoke. 

** Sure ? Of course I am sure. I know every con- 
ductor in Europe." 

"I daresay you do, sir; but this is not a common 
conductor." 

" No conductors are common, my friend. He is very 
clever, a genius too, and will do a great deal ; but he is 
too young at present to be talked of without caution." 

"Why, sir?" 

'* Because we may spoil him." 

I was indignant, I was sick, but so impotent I could 
only say, "Sir, has he ever heard ^<7« play?" 

" I cannot tell really all the people who hear me play. 
I don't know who they are in public." 

" Have you ever heard him play?" 

"No." 

"Oh, sir! then how can you know? What makes 
you call him Chevalier? Is that his real name?" 

" I tell you precisely what I was told, my boy ; 



WE LAND. 205 

Milans-Andre calls him * My young friend the Chevalier/ 
— nothing else. Most likely they gave him the order." 

Santonio was now talking Dutch to me, and yet I 
could not bring myself to detain him by further question- 
ing, for he had strolled to the staircase. Soon afterwards 
the dinner-bell rang. The afternoon being a little spent, 
we came up again and rested. It was twilight now, and 
my heart throbbed as it ever does in that intermediate 
dream. Soon Santonio retired to smoke, and I then lay 
all along a seat, and looked to heaven until I fell into a 
doze ; and all I felt was real, and I knew less of what 
was passing around me than of that which stirred within. 
Long it may have been, but it seemed very soon and 
suddenly that I was rudely brought to myself by a sound 
and skurry, and a suspension of our progress. It was 
dark and bleak besides, and as foggy as I had ever seen 
it in England, — the lamp at our head was like a moon ; 
and all about me there were shapes, not sights, of houses, 
and echoes, not sounds, of voices from the shore. 

The shore, indeed 1 And my first impression of Ger- 
many was one of simple astonishment to find it, on the 
whole, so much like, or so little unlike, England. I told 
Santonio so much, as he stood next me, and curbed 
me with his arm from going forwards. He answered 
that he supposed I thought they all lived in fiddle-cases 
and slept upon pianofortes. I was longing to land in- 
definably. I knew not where I was, how near or how 
far from my appointed place of rest. I will not say my 
heart was sad, it was only sore, to find Santonio, though 
so handsome, not quite so beautiful a spirit as my first 
friend, Lenhart Davy. We watched almost half the pas- 
sengers out of the boat ; the rest were to continue their 
fresh -watei^ route to a large city far away, and we were 
the last to land of all who landed there. 



206 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

In less than an hour, thanks to Santonio's quickening 
of the pulses of existence at our first landing-place, we 
were safe in a hackney-coach (very unlike any other 
conveyance), if indeed it could be called "safe" to be 
so bestowed, as I was continually precipitated against 
Santonio. His violin-case had never left his hand since 
we quitted the vessel, — and this was just as well, for it 
might have suffered from the jolting. Its master was all 
kindness now. " Cheer up," said he ; " do not let your 
idea of Gennan life begin here. You will soon find 
plenty to amuse you." He rubbed the reeking fog from 
one glass with his handkerchief forthwith, and I, peeping 
out, saw something of houses drawing near. They were 
dim and tall and dark, as if they had never fronted 
daylight. It took us quite half an hour to reach the 
village, notwithstanding, for our pace was laboriously 
tardy ; and again and again I wished I had stayed with 
Santonio at the little inn where we took the coach, and 
to which he was himself to return to sleep, having be- 
spoken a bed there ; for I felt that day would have done 
everything for me in manning and spiriting me, and 
that there was too much mystery in my transition state 
already to bear the surcharging mystery of night with 
thought undaunted. Coming into that first street, I be- 
lieved we should stop every instant, for the faint few 
lamps, strung here and there, gave me a notion of 
gabled windows and gray-black arches, nothing more 
definite than any dream ; so much the better. Still we 
stopped not anywhere in that region, nor even when, 
having passed the market-place with its little colonnade, 
we turned, or were shaken, into a quiet square. It 
came upon me like a nook of panorama; but I heard 
tlie splash of falling water before I beheld, starting from 
the mist, its shape, as it poured into a basin of shadowy 



A MOUNTAIN CONTAINING MANY CAVES, 20/ 

Stone beneath a skeleton tree, whose lowest sprays I 
could have touched as we drove near the fountain, so 
close we came. And then I saw before me a church, 
and could discern the stately steps and portico, even the 
crosses on the graves, which bade me remember that 
they died also in Germany. No organ echoes pealed, 
or choral song resounded, no chime struck ; but my 
heart beat all these tunes, and for the first time I as- 
sociated the feeling of religion with any earth-built 
shrine. 

It was in a street beyond the square, and overlooked 
by the tower of the church itself, that at length we 
stopped indeed, and that I found myself bewildered at 
once by darkness and expectation, standing upon the 
pavement before a foreign doorway, enough for any 
picture of the brain. 

" Now," said my escort, " I will take you upstairs 
first, — for you would never find your way, — and then 
return and see after all these things. The man won't 
run away with them, I believe, — he is too ugly to be 
anything but honest. I hope you do not expect a foot- 
man to open the door?" 

**I dislike footmen, but there is no knocker. Please 
show me the bell, Mr. Santonio." 

'* Please remember that this is a mountain which con- 
tains many caves besides that to which we are about 
to commit you. And if you interfere with anybody 
else's cave, the inhabitant will spring up yours with 
gunpowder." 

" I know that a great many people live in one house, 
— my mother said so ; but she never told me how you 
got into the houses." 

" I will tell you now. You see the bells here, like 
organ-stops : this is yours. Number I cannot read, but 



x: j?rii ;n^ . 

tr '^^- -nr-Tia."-.!. iii:. y^'^-*^*^ "foiic: mini:, ir: isi^ 

-i« V M- 'JvuirrTi*:. ^rrusss*;: i* jaurnHzmisiiL. .azi:. die 

v./ui'- juu -oi/sitt- HuF s'ja: Z t*-jntf^' i. iDvt ms: xst 
'.i^/.trt^ au' ^'- isr. in gn: qdic ai3St "r=r" sscz 
K>^' X- '-U*- ugx:.*^:^. iiiaax::- I hd"^ m^ir SH»*:iiiir "^ 

ovv.v#», v-^ i:u- i/WLii Ji- lit ir?2r ant gfrr' iuiL gmrrr 
^uc <>ii5-td;;ji; 1', !Lut: iziE: TTjrx, £ni. sESEL n sc vrnnT 

■7 US' wji:. 5. v-I '^ lit OLffisn'-ei. ** azzoxttt 22c odd 



.. / 






^ iB-_ X'- rarj- im: tol 



^' U'>x! jLttt*?jr4' irjx hsad tc flwc- I bsard toe 
i<#^/</v-^ i/tT- imhmijjaz ror-*; o ce pan g dmrD aDother 
*t'/f); !♦. cam^ — m} violjiu or iSir Tiofin, somewbert up 
;t. Ij><: M</^idt< J Ifjn^c to iiisii fuj»Jid now, and pos- 
itiv^jy f ai. M]j im staix^ yet remaining. Tdcre upon my 
</fi': ijdtjd wa*, trtt dcKn tinong^ idioK ke3diole, idiase 
^,v*rry f:rdck^ ittax sound had streamed, and I knew it as 
j y^ii/^d, and waited for ftrnt^ipip apon the haunted 
yt^AUfX 



A FOREIGN ROOM. 209 

"Now," said he, arriving very leisurely at the top, 
"we sliall go in to see the old gentleman." 

"Will he have a beard, sir, as he is a Jew?" 

" Who told you he has a Jew-beard ? Neverthe- 
less he has a beard; but pray hold your tongue 
about the Jews, — at least till you know him a little 
better." 

" I do not mean," thought I diffidently, " to talk to the 
old gentleman. If he is a Jew I shall know it, and it 
will be enough ; " but I did not say so to Santonio, who 
did not appear to prize his lineage as I did the half of 
mine. My heart began to beat faster than from the 
steep ascent, when he, without preparmg me further, 
rapped very vigorously upon another unseen door. I 
heard no voice reply, but I concluded he did, as he 
deliberately turned the lock, and drew me immediately 
after him as I had shrunk behind liim. I need not 
have been afraid, — the room was empty. It was a 
room full of dusky light ; that is, all tones which blended 
into it were dim, and its quaint nicety put every new- 
world notion out of the way for the time. The candles 
upon the table were brightly trimmed, but not wax, — 
only slender wax ones beamed in twisted sconces from 
the desk of an organ that took up the whole side of the 
room, opposing us as we entered, and whose pipes were 
to my imagining childhood lost in the clouds, indeed, 
for the roof of the room had been broken to admit them. 
The double key-board, open, glittered black and white, 
and I was only too glad to be able to examine it as 
closely as I wished. The room had no carpet, but I 
did not miss it or want it, for the floor was satin bright 
with polish, and its general effect was ebony, while that 
of the furniture was oak. There was a curious large 
closet in a comer, like another little room put away into 

VOL. I.— u 



210 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

this one; but what surprised me most was that the 
chamber was left to itself. 

"Where is he?" said Santonio> appealing to the 
silence; but then he seemed to be reminded, and 
shouted very loud in German some name I could not 
realize, but which I write, having since realized. 
" Aronach ! * where art thou ? " 

In German, and very loud, a voice replied, as coming 
down the organ-pipes : " I am aloft chastising an evil 
spirit ; nor will I descend until I have packed the devfl 
downstairs." At this instant, more at hand than the 
sound I had met upon the staircase, there was a wail as 
of a violin in pain ; but I could not tell whether it was a 
iiddk or a child, until the waU, in continuing, shifted 
firom semitone to semitone. 

Santonio sat down in one of the chairs and laughed ; 
then arose, having recovered himself, and observed, ** If 
this is his behavior, I may as weH go and see after your 
boxes. Keep yourself here till I come back ; bat if he 
come down, salute him in German, and it will be all 
right- 
He retired and I remained ; and now I resolved to 
have another good look. One side of the room I had 
not yet examined. Next the door I found a trio or 
quartet of three-legged stools, fixed one into tfie other, 
and nearest them a harpsichord, — a very harpsklxml 
with crooked legs. It was covered widi baize, and a 
pile of music-books reposed upon die baize, besides 
some antique instmment-cases. Other and larger cases 

^ It is gencnDy accepted tint Aronadi » a portnit of Zdtcr, 
the friend of Goetlie and teadier o€ M endelssolnv ^lo was for 
manj yeais director of tiie Sing Akademie at Berlin. He was 
the first who inspired McnddssohB witk his love fcr John 
Sebastian Bach's misic. 



A PORTRAIT OF BACH. 211 

were on the floor beneath the harpsichord ; there hung 
a talisman or two of glittering brass upon the wall, by 
floating ribbons of red. 

Then I fastened myself upon the pictures, and those 
strange wreaths of withered leaves that waved between 
them, and whose searest hues befitted well their vicinage. 
As I stood beneath those pictures, those dead-brown 
garlands rustled as if my light breath had been the 
autumn wind. I was stricken at once with melancholy 
and romance, but I understood not clearly the precise 
charm of those relics, or my melancholy would have lost 
itself in romance alone. 

There was one portrait of Bach. I knew it again, 
though it was a worthier hint of him than Davy's ; and 
underneath that portrait was something of the same 
kind, which vividly fascinated me by its subject. It was 
a very young head, almost that of an infant, lying, rather 
than bending, over an oblong book, such in shape as 
those represented in pictures of literary cherubs. The 
face was more than half forehead, which the clustering 
locks could not conceal, though they strove to shadow ; 
and in revenge, the hair swept back and tumbled side- 
ways, curling into the very swell of the tender shoulder. 
The countenance was of sun-bright witchery, lustrous as 
an elf of summer laughing out of a full-blown rose. Tiny 
hands were doubled round the book, and the lips wore 
themselves a smile that seemed to stir and dimple, and 
to flutter those floating ringlets. It was strange I was, 
though so unutterably drawn to it, in nothing reminded 
of any child or man I had ever seen, but merely thought 
it an ideal of the infant music, if music could personate 
infancy. After a long, long gaze I looked away, ex- 
pressly to have the delight of returning to it ; and then 
I saw the stove and approved of it, instead of missing, 



212 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

as I was told at home I should miss, the hearthrug 
and roseate fire-shine. Indeed, the stove was much 
more in keeping here, according to my outlandish 
taste. 

Before I returned to the picture Santonio re-entered, 
and finding me still alone, took up a broom which he 
discovered in some region, and, mounted on a chair, 
made with it no very gentle demonstrations upon the 
ceiling, which was low, and which he could thus easily 
reach. In about ten minutes more, I could feel, no 
less than hear, a footstep I did not know, for I am gen- 
erally cognizant of footsteps. This was cautious and 
slow, yet not heavy ; and I was aware it could be none 
other than that of my master presumptive. If I could 
have turned myself into a mustard-pot, to delay my in- 
troduction, I would have done so without the slightest 
hesitation ; but no ! I remained myself, and he, all 
himself, opened the door and came in. I had expected 
a tall man, — broad; here was a little gentleman no 
bigger than Davy, with a firm and defiant tread, clad 
in a garment that wrapped about his feet, in color 
brown, that passed well into the atmosphere of his 
cave. He confi-onted Santonio as if that wonder were 
a little girl in petticoats, with no more reverence and 
not less benevolence, for he laid one arm upon his 
shoulder and embraced him, as in England only very 
young and tender brothers embrace, or a son embraces 
his father. There was complaisance together with con- 
descension in his aspect ; but when he turned upon me, 
both complaisance and condescension were overpast, 
and a lour of indifference clouded my very faculties as 
with a film of worldly fear. Then he chucked me under 
the chin, and held me by it a moment without my being 
aware whether he examined me or not, so conveniently 



MV NE W MASTER, 2 1 3 

disposed were his black eye-lashes ; and then he let me 
go again, and turned his back upon me. 

" Sit 1 " said he to Santonio ; and then he threw his 
hand behind him, and pointing, without turning his 
head, indicated the group of stools. I nervously disen- 
tangled one and sat down upon it then and there by 
the side of the very harpischord. Santonio being also 
seated, and wearing, though as cool as usual, a less 
dominant aspect, the brisk demon marched to the 
bureau, which I had taken little heed of, under the 
window, but which, upon his opening, I discovered to 
be full of all sorts of drawers aud pigeon-holes, where a 
family of young mice would have enjoyed a game at 
hide-and-seek. He stood there writing, without any 
apology, for some time, and only left off when a female 
servant, brilliant and stolid as a Dutch doll, threw the 
door open again to bring in supper. 

She carried both tureens and dishes, and went into 
the closet after bottles of wine and a tablecloth : and 
everything she did was very orderly, and done very 
quietly. She spoke to Aronach, having arranged the 
table; and he arose, wiped his pen, and closed the 
bureau. Then he came to Santonio, and addressed 
him in most beautiful clear German, such German as 
was my mother's mother-tongue. 

" I travelled very comfortably, thank you," said San- 
tonio, in reply to some inquir}^ suggestive of the 
journey, "and I am glad to see you younger than 
ever." 

" Oh ! my sort don't die ; we are tough as hempen 
cloth. It is that make which frets itself threadbare," — 
he pointed obviously at me. " What is to be done with 
him, eh ? " 

" To be left here, of course, as we agreed." 



214 CHARLES A (/CHESTER. 

^Recollect my conditions. I torn him oat if he 
become ilL" 

** Oh ! he is very well indeed ; they are all pale in 
England, they have no son." 

** Be well then ! " said Aronach, threatenin^^yy yet 
not terrifyingly, " and keep well ! " 

What a silvery stream swept over his shirt-bosom ! it was 
soft as whitest moonlight '* Is that a beard? ** thought 
I — '^ how beautiful must the high-priest have looked \ " 
This thought still touched me, when in came a boy in a 
blouse, and I heard no more of his practice as I now 
recognized it, though the wail still came from above, 
fitful and woebegone. This boy was tall and slender, 
and his face, though he had an elegant head, was too 
formed and adult to be agreeable or very taking for 
me. His only expression was that of haughty self-con- 
tent ; but there was no real pride in his bearing, and no 
reserve. His hands were large, but very weB articulated 
and extremely white ; there was no spirit in them, and 
no spirituality in his aspect He took no notice of me, 
except to curl his upper lip — which was not short, and 
which a curl did not become — as he lifted a second 
stool and carried it up to the table ; nor did he wait to 
be asked to sit down upon it, and having done so, to 
smooth his hair off his forehead and lean his elbows 
upon the table. Then Aronach took a chair, and ad- 
monished Santonio to do the same. The latter made 
himself instantly at home, but most charmingly so, and 
began to help himself from a dish directly. The young 
gentleman upon the stool was just about to lift the 
cover from the tureen in the same style, when Aronach 
roused, and looking grandly upon him said, or rather 
muttered, " Where are thy manners ? Is it thy place in 
my house to ape my guests? See to thy companion 



AN ILL-MANNERED BOY, 21$ 

there, who is wearier than thou, and yet he waits. Go 
and bring him up, or thou shalt give thy supper to the 
cat's daughter." 

" So I will," responded the blouse, with assurance ; 
and leaving his stool abruptly, he ran into the closet 
aforementioned, and brought back a kitten, which as he 
held it by the nape of its neck came peaceably enough, 
but upon his dropping it roughly to the floor, set up a 
squeak. Now the wrath of Aronach appeared too pro- 
found for utterance. Raising his deep-set but light- 
some eyes from a perfect thicket of lashes, he gave the 
impertinent one look which reminded me of Van 
Amburgh in the lion's den. Then, ladling three or four 
spoonfuls of soup or broth into a plate, he set the plate 
upon the floor and the kitten at it, so seriously, that I 
dared not laugh. The kitten, meantime, unused to 
strong meats, for it was not a week-old mite, mewed 
and whined in antiphon to the savage lamentations of 
another cat in the closet, its maternal parent. The 
blouse never stirred an inch, save carelessly to sneer 
over his shoulder at me ; and I never loved him from 
that moment. But Santonio nodded to me significantly, 
as to say, " Come here 1 " and I came and planted my 
stool at his side. 

Aronach took no notice, but went on pouring coffee, 
one cup of which he set by the kitten. Again she 
piteously smelled, but finding it even worse than the 
broth, she crept up to the closet-door and smelled at 
that. 

" Go up ! " said Aronach, to the blouse, " and send 
Bumey to his supper. He shall have the cat's supper, 
as thou hast given thine to the cat." 

He went out sulkily, and the wail above ceased. I 
also heard footsteps, but he came back again alone. 



2l6 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

" He won't come down." 

" Won't ! Did he say * won't,* Iskar ? Have a care 1 " 

" He says he wants no supper." 

" That I have taken away his stomach, eh ? Come 
hither, thou black and white bird that art not yet a 
pyet." 

This was to me ; I was just sliding from my stool. 

" Eat and drink first, and then thou shalt carry it to 
him. Thou lookest better brought up. Don't grimace, 
Iskar, or thou shalt sleep in the cupboard with the cat, 
and the rats shall dance in thy fine curls. So now eat, 
Aukester, if that be thy name." 

" Sir, I am Carl ; will you please to call me Carl? " 

He gave me a glance from behind the coffee-stand. 
Sparks as from steel seemed to come out of his orbs and 
fly about my brain ; but I was not frightened the least, 
for the lips of this austerest of autocrats were smiling 
like sunlight beneath the silver hair. I saw at this 
moment that Aronach had a bowl of smoking milk 
crammed with bread by his side, and believing it to be 
for the violin up in the clouds, and concluding infe- 
rentially that the unseen was some one very small, I 
entreated Aronach without fear to let me carry it to him 
while yet it smoked. 

He did not object, but rather stared, and observed to 
Santonio, " His father makes a baby of him ; to give a 
boy such stuff is enough to make a girl grow up instead." 
Still he handed it to me with the caution, "If thou 
fallest on thy nose in going up to heaven, the kitten will 
lose her supper, for the milk is all used up in the town." 
I could just see a very narrow set of steps, exactly like 
a belfry-stair, when I opened the door, and having shut 
it again and found myself in darkness, I concluded to 
leave the bowl on the ground till I had explored to the 



A TINY, LONELY LOOKING BOY. 21/ 

top. I did so, and spun upwards, discovering another 
door, to which, though also in darkness, the wail of the 
violin became ray light. I just unlatched it, and re- 
turned for my burden, carefully adjusting spoon and 
basin on the road back. I knocked first, not to alarm 
the semi-tonic inhabitant ; and then, receiving no inti- 
mation, entered of my own accord. It was a queer 
region, hardly so superior as a garret, extremely low and 
vast, with mountains of lumber in every corner, and 
in the midst a pile of boxes with a portmanteau or two, 
and many items of property which for me were nonde- 
script. It had no furniture of its own besides, but to 
do it justice it was weather-proof. I could see all this 
rugged imagery on the instant, but not so easily I dis- 
cerned a little figure in the very centre of the boxes, 
sitting upon the least of the boxes, and solitarily regal- 
ing the silence, without either desk or book, with what 
had made me suffer below stairs. The organ-pipes 
came up here, and reached to the very roof ; they gave 
me a strange feeling as of something misplaced and 
mangled, but otherwise I was charmed to discover 
them. I hastened across the floor. The player was 
certainly not an adept, — a tiny, lonely looking boy, 
who as I went up to him almost let his fiddle fall with 
friglit, and shrank from me as some little children do 
from dogs. I was as tall again as he, and felt quite 
manly. " I am only come," I said, ^* to bring your 
supper, — have it while it is hot ; it is so good then ! " 
Do not believe, sweet reader, that my German was 
more polished than my English, — it wasquite the same. 
He dropped his bow upon the nearest box, and depres- 
sing his violin so that it touched the ground while he 
still held it, looked up at me with such a wistful wonder, 
his lip still quivering, his pretty hair all ruffled up. 



21 8 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

" I don't want it, thank you/' 

" You must eat it ; you have been up here ever so long.** 
" Yes, a good while ; please take it away. Are you 
the new one who was coming?" 
" Who said I was coming?" 

" The master. He said you would beat us both, and 
get first to Cecilia." 

" That is because I am older. I can't play the least 
in the world. I don't know even how to hold the bow. 
Come, do eat this good-looking stuff." 
" I don't think I can, I feel so sick." 
" That is because you do want something to eat." 
" It is not that " — he touched my jacket " This is 
what they wear in England. I do wish you would talk 
English to me." 

I was touched almost into tears. " You are such a 
little darling ! " I exclaimed ; and I would have given 
anything to fondle him, but I was afraid of staying, so I 
took a spoonful of the milk and put it to his lips, still 
another and another, till he had taken it all ; and then I 
said, " Do not practise any more ; " for he was discon- 
solately gathering up his bow. 

" I must until bed-time ; but I am so sleepy." 
" Why are you left up here? I will stay with you." 
" No, no, you must not. I only came up here be- 
cause the master caught me looking out of the window 
this morning, and the windows here don't show you 
anything but the sky." 

As I went out at the door I looked after him again. 
He was just finishing one of those long yawns that 
babies delight in. The moment I found my way below, 
I marched to the master's chair. He was awfiil in his 
dignity then, with the wine-bottle beside him and a 
glass held half-way to his lips. 



Afy CAVE. 219 

** Sir, he has eaten it all, but he is so very sleepy ; 
mayn't he go to bed?" 

Santonio was so overcome with laughter at my auda- 
city, though I was really very much alarmed, that he 
leaned back in his chair and shook again. Aronach 
bent upon me his flowing beard : " Dost thou know to 
refrain thyself, as well as thou knowest to rebuke thine 
elders? " But I could plainly see he was not angry, 
for he arose and tapped upon the ceiling with a stout 
oak staff that he fished from the unimagined closet 
Then the little one came down and into the room, shy 
of Santonio, and keeping behind his chair, as he mur- 
mured " Good-night " to Aronach. The latter gave him 
a nod which would not have disgraced Jove in full 
council. Santonio requested very kindly that I too 
might go to bed ; and in a few minutes I found myself 
in that little cave of my own of which he had made 
mention. 

Its entrance was hard by, through one of the very 
doors I had noticed when the glimmer showed me the 
staircase, and it entirely answered my expectations, in 
so far as it was very dim and haunted-looking, very un- 
like my own room in England, or any of our rooms at 
home. It had a stove, a looking-glass, and a press 
large enough to contain a bride's trousseau complete. 
There was also a recess which seemed lined with Lon- 
don fog, but which, on examination by the light of my 
candle, I found to contain the bed in a box of which 
my mother had forewarned me. I could no more have 
slept in it than if it had been a coffin, and for the first 
time I fully appreciated her provision for my comfort in 
this particular. My boxes were all there, and I un- 
corded them and drew forth my keys. My excellent 
sister Clo had packed in one trunk the bed and bed- 



220 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

ding, and one set of night-dothes, also a variety of 
toilet necessaries in holland bags. It was quite an 
zSaXx to lift out the pieces ; they were fitted into each 
other so beautifully that it was natural to imagine they 
could never be got back again. None but an expe- 
rienced feminine hand could have accomplished such 
a feat, and very carefully had I been inducted into the 
puzzlement of putting the parts together. I had just 
unfolded the tight white mattress, so narrow, but so 
exactly wide enough, when Santonio knocked at the 
door to bid me good-night and ficu-ewell; and as he 
came in he assisted me in the accomplishment of my 
pkms with that assiduous deftness which pre-eminentiy 
distinguishes the instrumental artist He most kindly 
offered to see me into bed ; but that was out of the 
question, so I let him go with my hearty thanks. It 
was not the least a melancholy feeling with which I 
stretched myself, all tingling with my rapid ablutions, 
beneath my home-blanket I did not the least long 
after home, nor the least experience the mother-sickness 
that is the very treble-string of humility to many a hero 
in his inaugurative exile ; but I felt extremely old, grand, 
and self-reliant, especially satisfied, in spite of my pres- 
ent ignorance, that by some means or other this Aronach 
would make a man of me, and not a trifler. I was just 
asleep when I heard a hand on the lock, and that no 
dream, for a voice vociferated, roughly enough, — " Out 
with the light ! " I sprang up and opened the door. 

*' It is only my little lamp, sir, that I brought with me, 
and it is very safe, as you see ; but still, if you wish it, I 
will try to sleep in the dark. I have never liked to do 
so, because it excites me." 

" Bah ! thou art too young to know the meaning of 
excitement. But for the sake of some one else who 



/ LIE AWAKE AND CONJECTURE, 221 

loves the night-lamp, thou mayest keep thine eyes open 
with it, and thank him too, for it is his doing. Now 
get back to bed ! and don't come out again, — the 
quick and living walk not about in night-smocks here." 

I heard him bolt me in as soon as I shut the door. I 
cannot say this proceeding pleased me, but on the con- 
traiy cost me many a cold sweat until I became accus- 
tomed to it. I lay a little while awake, now spying out 
such variations from English style as had escaped me on 
my first acquaintance with my quarters ; then reverted 
to Aronach's dark hint about the person who, like me, 
was excited by the darkness ; and at last recollected my 
contemporaries, and speculated upon their present cir- 
cumstantials. Most sofdy did that poor little soul pre- 
sent himself to mine as he played with my buttons, and 
I secretly determined to become his protector and ally. 
As for the imp in the blouse, I abjured him at first sight ; 
perhaps because he was, though repugnant to my taste, 
handsome and elegant, and I was neither. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

I AWOKE with sonorous cries, and sounds of beDs, 
and songs of sellers, and the dim ringing of wheels 
on a frosty soil. Hard and white the day-dews stood 
upon the windows ; the sky was clear as light itself, and 
my soul sprang as into the arms of freedom. It oc- 
curred to me that I was perhaps late, and I dressed 
fast About half-way to the end, I heard the violins be- 
gin, both of them ; but now they outrageously contra- 
dicted each other in different directions, and I could 
keep by my ear to neither. 

I made the utmost haste, but, as in most cases, it was 
least speed. I pulled off a button, and then a shoe- 
string came loose ; I had to begin very nearly all over 
again. And when at length equipped, I recalled the in- 
carceration of the previous night, and wondered how 
long I should stay there ; but a sudden impulse sent me 
to the door, and immediately it yielded to my hand. 
" He has been here, then," I thought, " and has not 
awakened me, because I was tired last night. How good, 
to be sure ! Not at all what I expected." I sallied forth 
to the landing ; it was like a room itself, but still dark, — 
dark for day-time ; and I could only make out its extent 
by the glimmer through the crack beneath every door. 
I listened at each first, not knowing at the instant which 
was which ; but the violins asserted themselves, and I 
chose one to unlock on my Own responsibility. I had 
made a mistake here, and come into the untenanted 



/ MISS MY VIOLIN. 223 

organ-room where we had supped. There the wintry 
light reigned full, and freshened up the old tints till they 
gleamed no more dusky, but rich. 

The pictures and wreaths of other years gave wel- 
come to me, that magic child especially ; nor less the 
harpsichord unopened, quiet, while those sounds of 
younger violins broke through and through my fancy, 
and made my heart swell up till I could have fainted 
with emotion. 

But of all that pressed upon me, the crowning sense 
was of that silent organ lost in the shady roof; the sun 
playing upon those columned tubes, and the black-white 
key-board clustering to hide its wealth of ** unheard 
melodies," sweeter than those ^* heard,''* as one has sung, 
who can surely never have heard them ! 

The chamber had been brushed and swept, but still 
the fine dust flew, and caught the sunshine on its eddies 
like another shade of light There was no one in the 
room, and, my first flush over, I felt alone and idle. 
The table was spread for breakfast, as I discovered, last 
of all ; and I question whether such coffee as stood 
upon the stove so cosily could be surpassed even in 
Arabia. It was so perfect that it stood the test of sugar- 
lessness, which I preferred, if possible. Standing to 
eat and drink in all haste, a speculation stung me, — 
where was my violin ? It had not even slept with me ; 
I had missed it in my room, — that baby of mine, that 
doll, that ladykin ! I looked everywhere, — at least 
everywhere I could ; the closet-door I did not try, justly 
supposing that it was not my place to do so; and at 
last I concluded to attack my fellow-pupils. 

I found my small friend's door very easily, and turned 
the key to admit myself. The room, to my amazement, 
was precisely like my own, even to that bed in the 



224 CJfARLES AC/CHESTER. 

recess ; and the inmate was not alannedy for he evidently 
expected me. 

** Oh ! " he said, after ptitting up his lips to mine, 
"Marc has your study for this morning; the master 
gave it him to keep till you were ready. But mind you 
lock me in again when you get out, or he will flog you 
and me." 

" Did he ever flog you yet? " 

" No, and he does not call it * flog ; ' but he did tie 
Marc's hands together one day, and he said it was 
the same to him to do that as for an English master 
to flog." 

" A very mild type, I think. But who is Marc? " 

"Marc Iskar; you saw him last night He won't 
speak to mc ; he says I am too young." 

" So much the better for you. And what is your little 
name ? " 

** I am Starwood Bumey ; ^ but I should like you to 
call me Star, as my papa does." 

" That I will, my German aster ! " 

" Aster is Latin ; I have begun Latin. But do please 
go, I have so much to do, and he will be so very angry, 
— so very, very cross ! " 

" How dare you say so, when he has never even tied 
your hands together ! You should not be hurt nor dis- 
graced, little Starling ; if I were there, I would be pun- 
ished instead, for I have twice your strength. But you 
should try to love him while you fear him." 

^ There is no question but that Starwood Bumey is intended 
for a portrait of Sterndale Bennett. Mendelssohn was his 
friend from boyhood, and aided him greatly with his suggestions, 
though it is doubtful whether Bennett ever studied with him. 
It was through Mendelssohn's influence that he brought out 
Bach's music in London, lie was also a pupil of the Leipsic 
Conservatory. 



MARC ISKAR. 22$ 

" You speak like a great man, and I will try. But 
please to go now, for I find this very hard." 

I left him, having selfishly shrunk firom the necessity 
to interrogate Iskar. 

I stole to his door. I was really electrified as I stood, 
. — not with envy, but with amazement ! He was already 
a wonderful mechanist. Such sallies of execution were to 
me tremendous, but his tone did not charm me, and I 
imagined it might be the defect of his instrument that it 
sounded thin and cold, unlike my notion altogether, and 
frosty as the frost without. Clearly and crisply it saluted 
me as I entered. The room was like ours, — the little 
one's and mine ; but it was gayly adorned with pictures 
of the lowest order (such as are hawked about the 
streets in England), and only conspicuous from their 
unnaturally vivid coloring. They were chiefly figures of 
ladies dancing, or of gentlemen brandishing the sword 
and helmet, — theatrical subjects, as I afterwards dis- 
covered. Iskar was sitting before his desk, and had his 
face from me. As I approached, my awe was doubled 
at his performance, for I beheld Corelli's solos. I had 
heard of those from Davy. Another desk was also near 
him, and a second violin-case stood upon the floor. I 
asked him very modestly whether they were mine. He 
replied, without regarding me, " That sheet of paper has 
your exercise upon it, and if you cannot play it, you are 
to look in Marenthal's Prolusion, which is in the bureau 
under the desk. You are to take all these things into 
your own room." 

There was something in the tones of the blouse — he 
was yet in blouse — that irritated me intensely. His 
voice was defined as that of his violin, and to the full 
as frosty. I was only too happy to retire. Then, sit- 
ting upon my own bed, I examined the exercise. It 
VOL. I. — 15 



226 CHARLES AfJCHEZTER. 

was d/eariy indistinct, — a copf, and I rocfci make noci>- 
i.' g of i^ Tne ooert G^nnaniazs c^ tbe nora rests and 
t:;^xs appalled me. I c/yiki neisber hanrig* the Tioiin nor 
stea/1 y tr.e bo-ir ; bat I ha/i caremHj borxie in mind the 
noetriryii I hadcoserved when I had had (^poftnmtj, 
aiid I stooped to take this child of music from its czadle. 
It m2& Tifj laort mine own than I had expected ; an awk- 
ward Uilky frame it had, and I did not feel to love ifL 
tux to bring it to my bearL Something nmst be done^ 
I Celty and I retained to the organ-room. I focrnd the 
Frolusion, as Iskar said, — an awfully Faostish tome, 
with rusty clasps, tiie letters worn off the bock. I was 
in doom certainly. It wasckne black naiional type, and 
I p^^red and bored myself o>'er it, — leaf after kaf^ — 
tmtil, blissfully, I arrived at the very exerdse prepared 
for me. It was presented in illustration, and there were 
saw'like enunciations of every step ; but half the words 
were unknown to me, and I grew rigid with despair. 
*' Oh ! " I cried aloud, ^ if some one would only tell me 1 
if Davy were only here I if Lenhart Davy knew ! " Still 
I idackened not in my most laughable labor, endeavor- 
ing to interpret such words as I could not translate by 
their connection widi others I did know, by their look 
and make, — their euphony. I was vocalizing them very 
lowl, and had made out already the first position, when 
a rattle oi the closet lock turned me all over cold. I 
listened, it came again ; a tremendous '' So ! " followed, 
and the door, opening, dispkiyed Aronach himself in the 
glories of a morning-gown. How could he have got in 
there, and how have come out upon me so suddenly 
without any warning? and above all, how would he be- 
have to me, finding me so ignorant? I believe that on 
account of my very ignorance I found favor in his 
sight, —he truly wise ; for, mcrdy alluding to my condi- 



JlfV INITI4 TION, 227 

tion in this form, '' Thou hast shown thyself &ithfal, only 
keep thy faith," he bade me bring my traps in there, and 
assured me — merely by his aspect — that he would 
clear every stone from my path. 

When I returned he was standing between the otgan 
and the window : a grander picture could not be perpe- 
trated of the life-long laboring and, for love's sake, 
aspiring artist. His furrowed forehead was clear as 
rutted snow in the serene of sunlight as he appeared 
then ; and through aU the sternness with which he spoke 
I discerned the gentleness of art*s impression. And 
after the most careful initiation into the simplest mecha- 
nical process, he dismissed me to work alone, nor did 
I relax from that one exercise for a week. 

But a great deal chanced in that week besides. We 
spent each day alike, except Sunday. On other days 
we breakfasted very soon after it was light, on milk por- 
ridge, or bread and coffee. But sometimes Aronach 
would breakfast alone in his cave, which was that very 
closet I mentioned, and in which the day must have 
been developed about as decidedly as beneath the 
ground. However, he had his lamp in there, and his 
private escritoire, besides all kinds of books and papers, 
that were seldom produced in our presence, and then 
only one at a time. 

The kitten's basket was there too, and there were 
shelves upon shelves, containing napery and all sorts 
of oddities, that had their nest there after being 
hatched in crannies of the old man's brain. The first 
time I took a peep I discerned my own violin, carefully 
enough housed, but quite above my reach. 1 fumed a 
little, of course, but did not betray myself; and it was 
well I did not, as Iskar and little Starwood both prac- 
tised on common fiddles scraping could not rasp, nor 
inexperience injure. 



228 CHARLES AUC HESTER. 

After bicakfast we worked till noon under loclc and 
key. At noon we dined, and at two o'clock were sent 
to walk* I do not know whether I put down Aronach 
as a tyrant He must, at least, be so written, in that his 
whims, no less than his laws, were unalterable. A whim 
it certainly was that we should always walk one way, and 
the same distance every day, unless he sent us on any 
special errand. This promenade, though monotonous, 
became dear to me, and I soon learned to appreciate 
the morale of that regime. We could not go to Cecilia, 
which had its village only two miles ofif, and whose soft 
blue gentle hill was near enough to woo, and distant 
enough to tempt the dreamer, nor would our guide at 
hand permit us to approach the precinct consecrated to 
such artistic graduation as we had not yet attained. 

In the mornings Aronach was cither absent abroad 
instructing, or writing at home. But we never got at 
him, and were not suffered to apply to him until the 
evening. As we could not play truant unless we had 
battered down the doors, so we could not associate with 
each other unreservedly, except in our walks ; and on 
those occasions, pretty often, our master came too, call- 
ing on his friends as he passed their houses, while we 
paraded up and down ; but whenever he was by our 
side, silent as a ruminant ox, and awful as Apis to the 
Egyptians for Starwood and for me. When he came 
not, it would have been charming, but for Iskar, who 
was either too fine to talk, or else had nothing at his 
command to say, and whose deportment was so drearily 
sarcastic that neither of us, his companions, ever ven- 
tured an original or a sympathizing remark. 

On my first Sunday I took Starwood to church, — 
that is, we preceded Aronach, who was lecturing Tskar, 
and sent us on beforehand The little one was bright 



STARWOOD BURNEY, 229 

this morning, and as I looked upon his musically built 
brow, and trembling color, and expressive eyes, — blue 
as the air at evening, and full of that sort of light, — I 
could not make clear to myself how it was that he so 
disliked his work, and drooped beneath it in the effort to 
master his frail body by his struggling soul. We had 
turned into the place of the church, — the leafless lin- 
dens were whispering to it, — and we rested by the 
stone basin, while the bells came springing through the 
frost-clear day like — yet how unlike — England ! I was 
afraid my small companion would be cold, and I put one 
of his long httie hands into my pocket with my own, 
while I made him tuck the other into both his warm 
gloves, till, by degrees, — having coaxed and comforted 
him to the utmost, — he told me more about himself 
than I had known before. He was extremely timid to 
talk, shy as a fawn, even to me. But at last I made out 
satisfactorily the secret of his antipathy to his violin. I 
cannot remember all his words, — besides, they were too 
infantine to write ; but he described himself as having 
spent that most forlorn of ^11 untended childhoods which 
befalls the motherless offspring of the needy artist in 
England. His father had lived in London and taught 
music, but had left him constantly alone ; and I also 
discovered he had been, and was still, an organist. The 
child assured me his mamma had been a beautiful player, 
but that no one ever opened her grand piano, which 
stood in a parlor above the street 

" I always knew I was to grow up to music," said 
Starwood ; " for mamma had told me so, and she taught 
me my notes when I was only four years old. When 
she died, no one taught me ; and while papa was out all 
day, I played with my toys and sat upon the stairs. 
One day some men came up and nearly fell over me. I 



', 'A 






'*>-' •^'t -nr .ilfw -j-rr -:nrr.» :Tir TxaxiE i 



';im* '.r^tne -it "^m* ' ▼♦iinr Z vis Vi innarrny Z -rmfTgyrr r 

':*t^'M -ne T» -.t^ vrm^. anrl -.-uirte -ne •sii ".-anr -vtit I 
^/^M. r yfi<! • ?>rjHise '•^f 'iiir ^umo - md he tcKL ne 
'.^ -i*f? r,ii^ r ■ ^r^-.'Aif: r vifi .r> ^jf-Ti- inii jccacae iie 

f/vr 1* '£t^f\^r^c%r\ 9^.0 *^ vfrr xmrt :o 'lim snre ttttt 
v^*n^ nrtiV'* -H/'>*i<r!^ "rt -.<^rf Tn#t lv*m. or I crwid not hare 
''A^<*. pjiTt r r'^h h^ r.ad kept nae as home and -^"7^ 

'■ f>jt r/y^'' * r*Tj?<*d, •''^;in yon he «cTTrioir? We 
f^.yY^ v> vj 'fvy>,t :^r>rlo*wKr h;iw>y to nnd cnxrsdTcs here 
V,^\^ fffn ff^, 'rty f\^'^ litt> 'JOT, atiri .ivipe. ami -H.it 
ff»<»V'^fl» ///'f *f:in, ^ft^A ^^kfr^ rh^ ^rencjth oat of yoa that 
/vi w.'rnt for rn*i<it/*,." 

" Ah f fhflft rt rK>t it Yon don't Imow, Crraries, how 
( fr*^l ; f kno^ y?*! ^ot\% (nfT y<m love yoar violin." 

" \ %\^ti^M think f ^li^l t ^ 

'' W^n, f am «fr;»n^ft to jt, and don't love i^ — at 
l"n!;f, /1/m*t. I^jV! to phy it." 

" Hilt why rli^l y^/11 not tell your father so before he 
«^rit yoii h/'f^? V^Tti knovr you will never do anything 
Wf'll flint y/>ii i\ttTi\ lovft to rto, — it is impossible. And 
fifit \h Ufvn th^ violin, FJtflr, for shame I" 

" ff 1«« fint thrtt, rih, rton't \Hi ftngry with me I — but 
ffiy tffitNU* \n \h \ht* fiennflftll cold keys.*" 



A GEMUINE ORGAN-HAND, 23 1 

" Darling little Star I I beg your pardon ; but then, 
why don't you learn the piano?" 

" But Charles, I cannot. I was sent here to learn the 
violin, and I must study it Aronach does not let any 
one study the pianoforte under him now." 

« He did then ? " 

"Yes, a long time ago, when he lived in another 
place, about thirty miles off. Have you heard Aronach 
play the organ?" 

" No ; have you ? " 

" Oh ! every Sunday." 

" Yon don't say so, Star ! is it not delicious?" 

" Charles, I like it best of all the days in the week, 
because he plays. Such different playing from what 
they have at church in England ! " 

" I shall go up to the organ and see him play." 

"Charles, Charles, don't; please don't, — we never 
do ! " 

" Then I shall be the first, for go I must. There is 
precious Aronach himself. I will run after him wherever 
he goes.*' 

I did so most rudely — forsaking Starwood, who did 
not dare to follow me ; but I would not miss the oppor- 
tunity. I spun after Aronach so noiselessly as that 
he had no notion I was following, though in general 
he had eyes behind ; and he did not perceive me until 
the service had absolutely begun. Then I made myself 
visible, and caught a frown, which was accompanied by 
a helpless condition truly edifying; for his arms and 
hands and eyes and feet were all equally on service. I 
therefore remained, and made out more about the in- 
strument than I had made out my whole life before. 
His was a genuine organ-hand, that could stretch itself 
indefinitely, and yet double up so crawlingly that the 



232 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

fingers, as they lay, were like stems of corrugated ivory ; 
and I watched only less than I listened. The choir — 
so full and perfect, trained to every individual — mounted 
its effects, as it were, upon those of the controUing har- 
monies. There was a depth in these that supported 
their air-waving tones, as pillars solid and polished a 
vaulted roof, where shadows waver and nestie. I found 
a book, and sang at intervals, but generally preferred to 
receive the actual impression. I think my first mother- 
feeling for Germany was bom that Sunday in pleasurable 
pain. 

None can know who has not felt — none feel who has 
not heard — the spell of those haunting services in the 
land of Luther ! The chorale so grave and powerful, 
with its interpieces so b'ght and florid, like slender firet- 
works on a marble shrine, — the unisonous pause, the 
antiphonal repose, the deep sense of worship stirred by 
the sense of sound. From that Sunday I always went 
with Aronach, unbidden, but unforbidden; and as I 
learned to be very expert in stopping, I substituted very 
speedOy the functionary who had performed the office 
before my advent 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

IT cannot be supposed that I forgot my home, or 
that I failed to institute an immediate correspon- 
dence, which was thus checked in the bud. Aronach, 
finding me one night, after we had all retired, with my 
little ink-bottle on the floor and myself outsprawled 
writing upon my knees close into my lamp, very coolly 
carried my sheet, pen, and ink away, and informed me 
that he never permitted his pupils to write home at all, 
or to write anything except what he set them to do. 

I should have revolted outright against this restriction 
but for a saving discovery I made on the morrow, — that 
our master himself dismissed from his own hand a bul- 
letin of our health and record of our progress once a 
month. Precious specimens, no doubt, they were, these, 
of hard-hearted fact ! Neither were we allowed to 
receive letters ourselves from home. Only simple com- 
munications were permitted to himself; and the effect 
of this rule, so autocratic, was desperately painful upon 
me at first. I hungered for some sweet morsel of 
English, served up in English character; I wanted to 
hear more than that all were well ; and as for Lenhart 
Davy, had not my love informed my memory, I should 
have forgotten him altogether. But it was very soon I 
began to realize that this judicious interdiction lent a 
tonic bitterness to my life. I was completely abstracted, 
and upon that passage of my inwardly eventful history 
I can never glance back without a quiet tear or two ; it 



234 ClfARLES AUCI/ESTER. 

W2A hearenly in iu unabsolved and absolute serenitj. 
!t fras the one moo^^l that befitted a growing heart too 
apt to bfjm, — a busy brain too apt to vision, — if that 
hca/1 and heart irere ever to be raised from the valky of 
material life into the mountain heights of art 

I fear my remembrances are dull just here, for the 
gkxry that touched them was of the moment, and too 
subtle to be retrieved ; but it Is impossible not just to 
remind myself of them before returning to my adventure- 
ma^e. 

For six montlis, that passed as swiftly as six weeks of 
a certain existence, we went on together— I should 
have said — hand-in-hand, but that my Starwood's dif- 
fident melancholy and Iskar's travestied hauteur would 
have held me back, and I was ardent to impel myself 
forward. So, though at first I had to work almost to 
desperation in order to join the evening contrapuntal 
class, I soon left the other two behind, and Aronach 
taught me alone, — which was an advantage it would be 
impossible to overrate. Not that he ever domraended, 
-* it was not in him ; he was too exigent, too stem ; his 
powers never condescended; he was never known to 
fjiialify; he was never personally made acquaintance 
with. Something of the hermit blended mystically with 
his acumen, so that the primary advantage of our posi- 
tion was his supreme standard, insensibly our own also^ 
**-thc secondary, our undisturbed seclusioti. 

As I said, we walked the same distance day by day. 
Nothing is uniform to a soul really set on the idealities 
of art. Everything, though it changes not, suggests to 
the mind of the musician. Though not a full-grown 
mind, I had all joy in that unchanging route ; for as the 
year grew and rounded, all, as it were, aspired without 
changing. Meditation mellowed every circumstance till 



/ FEAR FOR STAR'S HEALTH, 235 

it ripened to an utialteraMe chafra. I always walked 
with Starwood, who still made me very anxious ; sud- 
denly and increasingly so pale and frail he became that 
I fully expected him to die that spring. Indeed, he 
hardly cleared it; and I should have mentioned my 
fears to Aronach but that he seemed fully aware of all I 
feared. But instead Of getting rid of the weakling, as I 
dreaded he might choose to do, he physicked him and 
kept him in his bed-box twice or thrice a week, and 
taciturnly indulged him; giving him hot possets at 
night, and cooling drinks by day. The poor little fellow 
was very grateful, but still sad ; and I was astohished 
that Aronach still expected him to practise, unless he 
was in bed, and to write, except his head ached. The 
indefinite disorder very seldom reached that climax 
though, and chiefly asserted itself in b^by-yawns dnd 
occasional whimpers, constant weariness, and entire loss 
of appetite. I at length discovered his age, and Iskar's 
also. The latter had passed eleven, but was not so 
nearly twelve as I ; the first was scarcely nine, and so 
small he might have been only six. It struck me he 
would not be much older, and I had learned to love 
him too well in his infantine and affecting weakness. I 
ventured, one day, to ask Aronach whether his father 
knew he was ill. I was answered, — 

" He is not ill.*' 

" But, sir, he is low and weak ! " 

" He will always be Weak while thou art petting him. 
Who can take more care of him than I? His father? " 

" Oh, master I I know you are good ; but what if he 
dies?" 

" His work will not have killed him, nor his weak- 
ness. If people are to die, they die ; if they are to live, 
they live." 



€«*/;>/',. »r^ snrr, if? v^mr umwri-^ fnni i .-nit:: 

i/»:.'< wi'.Zii \f\t» ti£f 'jsii vimYTTsii-Mn *nti u. m air 
s'l.ifr-: •'.!*. Tj; irr uu(i#^ «ni( li«?n i T.'ac n ^saesnroi- 

V»rfi;.rj/ uji ^ vviUit iiu iii-«» *n4iiirRfL t. hnsrfsz,. miL 
tiir;iif i;iiv« wr-vii« mnstlent uu hr lie aioijcss iiT 
til' ^ji)ij\n t ftTA lie v'r; li^rJinniinj ir JUav TTiiDu^a 
;Hfit w). iv i ^*^ ^tifnt: ss t^r v/tn^ tii* wisitier JvsLUt 
t^^iC tn *nnimtj*. Mtut ur/ w/^lert. aiiL iie 4MIW j£ 
it«\»*iiiii^ f^ii.t lie v?^ivi» 1*iwn. r'le Jnitens nesr 
•*ii» ivi»iti,ia ,/vijun iV Mrj^t^jti. iiu: n iui ioirten u'liit 
^:tnrt-,:i U»^ v^u.jvi\» »?; t:iu;Ji»nv'^ T aw iiuliinc uf lie 
^.vvrtr/» t*r i;t4t v^iu; vin* trrani it inioii^vT. leaiicr 

pei^,/i«*:vvi. .ti'-vuii*;v itrctmie-'i simnKC -jyi'tr? ciei m :aer 
u',:v/'^^ ; i'nen^ )iix i<v xuirit aid ai'^ onnis^ jont is 
Avy;v *-r.v*r;'*v: Vx aswiio: "Sterne sa I iizniuii iiaat icpBi 

*^*ry Vi-^ i^"/*./} ; (/yf I iimW^T U/ok it iofio aococcst horn 
tmuy fA t)//yr iy«^kf*n w<vald r^/kit to be » sicDt lip 
«:; I lo^^j^^^ /y/'>Vi l}i<<r^ fffAy reit. And it ftnick me that at 
^;»j^i! z/;^ iUy tu ihn jn^ fffit ou;^ to be pennitted to 
iVt ^xst^iiy i^ tfttn fUr^iredf even were the desiie to 
f)tffwu ottf*/^ <wjlf iJwr prevalent aspiration. There arc 
litff^^ wlf^f^ it h not only natural^ imt necetsaiy, to rebel 



/ ITASTE JliV TIMS. 2%7 

against authority ; so that had I not been locked in, I 
would have certainly escaped and made a ramble on 
my own responsibility ; for I should have acted upon as 
pure impulse as when — usually industrious enough as 
I was — I laid down my fiddle and wasted my time. 

As I gazed upon the window and smelt the utter 
sweetness of the atmosphere, hardly so much air as 
flower spirit, the voice of perfume, I was wishful of the 
wings of all the flies, and envious of the butterflies that 
blundered in and floated out. I am sure I had been 
idle at least an hour, and had no prospect of taking 
heed to my ways, so long as the sky was blue as that 
sky, and the breeze blew in, when I felt, rather than 
heard, a soft little knock at the door. I fancied it was 
the servant dashing her broomstick upon the landing ; 
but in a moment it was repeated, and I was very shy to 
take any notice, feeling that a goblin could let itself in, 
and had better do so than be admitted. Then I was 
roused indeed, and my own inaction scared me, for I 
recognized Starwood's voice. 

"Charles, I want to come in, — mayn't I a minute, 
please?" 

" Really, Star, it is too bad of you to give me such 
a turn! How can I open the door? Pray come in 
directly, and tell me what is the matter." 

He boggled at the lock for a minute or two, but at 
last admitted himself. 

"Why, Star, how frightened you look 1 Have you 
been flogged at last? and is the master home already?" 

" No, no, Charles I Something most extraordinary." 

I really could but laugh, the child repeated the 
words with such an awe. 

" A gentleman, Charles, has come. He opened my 
door while I was practising. I should have been 



238 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

dreadfully frightened, but he was so kind, and came in 
so gently. He thought you were here, Charles, and 
asked for you ; he says he does not know your pame, 
but that he could tell me whether you were here if I 
would describe you. I said how pale you were, with 
such dark eyes, and about your playing, and he said, — 

'' ' All right, go and fetch him, or send him to- me : 
will you be so kind ? ' " 

''How could you be quite sure? It maybe some 
one for Iskar, who is pale, and has dark eyes." 

'* He said it was the violin that came at Christmas, 
I was to send ; and you came at Christmas. Besides, 
he looks very like a friend you would have ^ he is not 
like anybody else." 

'^WhatisheUke, Star?" 

*' His face is so very bright and clever that J could 
not look at it ; but I saw his beautiful curling hair. I 
never sayir such curling hair." 

'* Come in with me, then. Star." 

'* No, he said I was not to come too, that I might go 
on with my music. He calls it ' n^usic,' but I don't 
think it is much like it." 

Now, I knew who was there as well as if an angel 
had spoken to me and said, '' It is he for whom you 
waited." Had I not known in very assurance, I should 
have forced my little friend tp go back with me, that I 
might not meet alone a stranger; as it was, I only 
longed to fly, and to fly alone into that presence, for 
which I then felt I had been waiting, though I had 
known it not. 

I rushed from my litde prison enfranchised, ecstatic ; 
but I misapprehended my own sensations. The mag- 
netic power was so appalling that as I reached the 
threshold of that other room a dark shock came over 



\ 



CmLD-ENTNUSIASM. 239 

my eyeS) and partly fix>m my haste, in part from that 
dazzling blindness, I staggered and fell across the 
doorway, and could not try to rise. 

But his arm was round me, — before I fell, I felt it ; 
and as I lay I was crushed, abandoned in very worship. 
None worship as the child-enthusiast save the endiusiast 
who worshipped even as a child. I scarcely tried to 
rise ; but he lifted me with that strong and slender arm, 
and set me upon my feet. Before he spoke I spoke, but 
I gasped so wildly that my words are not in my power to 
recall. I only remember that I named him *' our Con* 
ductor — the Conduaor 1 " and that still, with his light 
touch on my shoulder, he tqmed his head aside. I 
looked up freely then ; and the glance I then caught of 
that brow, those eyes half averted, half bent upon me 
with the old pitying sweetness, partly shaded by earthly 
sympathy, but for the most part lifted into light beyond 
my knowledge, — the one glimpse forewarned me not to 
yield to the emotions he raised within me, lest I should 
trouble him more than needed. It was not a minute, I 
am sure, before I mastered m)rself and stood before him 
firmly. 

^' Sir, the Herr Aronach is at the Cecilia School to- 
day ; it is the first day of tlie grand examination^ — at 
least I believe so ; I know they are all very busy there, 
and have been so for some time. I don't think the 
master will be home until quite the evening, for he told 
us to dine alone ; but if you will allow me, I will run 
and bring you a coach from the Kell Platz, which will 
take you to Cecilia in an hour, — I have heard the 
master say so." 

He was looking towards the window; and while I 
spoke, his face, so exquisitely pale, grew gradually warm 
and bright, his cheek mantled, his eyes laughed within 
the lashes. 



240 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

*• All very good and wise and amiable, most amia- 
ble ! " said he ; " and such pretty German too ! But I 
came to see you, and not your master, here I I have 
been a long time coming, but I could not get here be- 
fore, because I had not done my lessons. I have 
finished them now, and want a game of play. Will you 
have a game with me ? " 

Before I could* answer, he resumed, in tones of the 
most ravishing gayety, — 

"And you are all so pale, — so pale that I am 
ashamed of you! What have you been all doing?" 

" Practising, sir, — at least not I, for I have been 
idle all the morning, for the very first time since I 
came here, I assure you. I kept thinking and thinking, 
and expecting and expecting, though I could not tell 
what, and now I know." 

" But I am still very much ashamed of Aronach. 
Does he lock you up ? " with a star of mischief shining 
from the very middle of each eye. 

"Yes, sir, always, as well as the others, of course. I 
like it very much too ; it is so safe." 

" Not always, it seems. Well, now let us have a race 
to the river ; and then if you are pale still, I shall take 
you to Cecilia, and show somebody that it is a question 
whether he can keep you at home, for all he bolts you 
in. The day is so fine, so beautiful, that I think the 
music itself may have a holiday." 

" Sir, do you really mean it ? Oh, if you do, pray let 
us go to Cecilia now ; for perhaps there is music to hear, 
and oh ! it is so very, very long since I heard any." 

" Is it so dear to you that you would rather seek it 
than all the sunshine and all the heart of spring? Ah ! 
too young to find that anything is better than music, 
and more to be desired." 



I ACCOMPANY MY NEW FRIEND, 24I 

" Yes, sir, yes ! please to take me. I won't be in the 
way, it will be enough to walk by you ; I don't want 
you to talk." 

" But I do want to talk ; I cannot keep quiet. I have 
a lady's tongue, and yours, I fancy, is not much 
shorter. We will therefore go now." 

"This moment, sir? Oh! I would rather go than 
have the festival over again." 

" The festival ! the festival ! It is the festival ! Is it 
not to-day a festival, and every day in May ? " 

He looked as he spoke so divinely happy that it is so 
the angels must appear in their everlasting spring. I 
rushed into my room and rummaged for my cap, also 
for a pair of new gloves ; but I was not very long, though 
I shook so violently that it was a task to pull on those 
skins. Returning, I found him still at the window ; he 
was leaning upon the bureau, not near the harpsichord, not 
before the organ, but gazing, child-like, into the bright 
blue morning. He was dressed in a summer coat, short 
and very loose, that hung almost in folds upon his deli- 
cate figure. The collar, falling low, revealed the throat, 
so white, so regal ; and through the button-hole fluttered 
the ribbon of the Chevalier. He carried also a robe-like 
cloak upon his arm, lined with silk and amply tasselled. 
I ventured to take it from him, but he gently, and yet 
forcibly, drew it again to himself, saying, "It is too 
heavy for thee. . May I not already say ^ thou ' ? " 

" Oh, sir, if you will, but let me go first ; it is so dark 
always upon the stairs." 

. " One does not love darkness, truly ; we will escape 
together." 

He took my hand, and I tried to lead him ; but after 
all, it was he who led me step by step. I did not know 
the road to Cecilia, and I said so. 

VOL. I. — 16 



242 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

" Oh, I suppose not ; sly Aronach ! But I do, and 
that is sufficient, is it not? Why, the color is coming 
back already. And I see your eyes begin to know me. 
I am so glad. Ah ! they tell more now than they will 
tell some day." 

" Sir, you are too good, but I thank you. I like to 
feel well, and I feel more tlian well to-day ; I am too 
glad, I think." 

" Never too well or glad, it is not possible. Never 
too bright and hopeful. Never too blissfully rejoicing. 
Tell me your name, if you please." 

"Sir, my name is nothing." 

"That is better than NorvaV^ He laughed, as at 
himself 

" Sir, however did you get to hear that? O ! " — I 
quite screamed as the reminiscence shook me, — " oh, 
sir, did you write the 'Tone-Wreath'?" 

He gave me a look which seemed to drink up my 
soul. " I plucked a garland, but it was beyond the 
Grampian Hills." 

" You did write it ! I knew it when I heard it, sir. I 
am so delighted ! I knew the instant she played it, and 
she thought so too; but of course we could not be 
quite sure." 

He made the very slightest gesture of impatience. 
" Never mind the * Tone- Wreath ' 1 There are May- 
bells enough on the hills that we are to go to." 

I was insensibly reminded of his race ; but its bitter- 
ness was all sheathed in beauty when I looked again. 
So beautiful was he that I could not help looking at his 
face. So we are drawn to the evening star, so to the 
morning roses ; but with how different a spell ! For just 
where theirs is closed, did his begin its secret, still at- 
traction ; the loveliness, the S3niimetry were lost as the 



Sl 



A CONFESSION OF LOVE. 243 

majestic spirit seized upon the soul through the sight, 
and conquered. 

" You have not told me your name. Is it so difficult 
for me to pronounce ? I will try very hard to say it, 
and I wish to know it." 

No "I will " was ever so irresistible. — " Charles 
Auchester.^' 

" That is a tell-tale name. But I can never forget 
what was written for me on your forehead the day you 
were so kind to me in a foreign country. Do you like 
me, Charles, — well enough to wish to know me ? " 

I can never describe the innocent regality of his man- 
ner here, — it was something never to be imagined, that 
voice in that peculiar key. 

** Sir, I know how many friends you must have, and 
how they must admire you. I don't think any of them 
love you as I do, and always did ever since that day. I 
wish I could tell you, but it 's of no use. I can't, though 
I quite bum to tell you, and to make you know. I do 
love you better than I love my life, and you are the only 
person I love better than music. I would go to the 
other end of the world, and never see you any more, 
rather than I would be in your way or tire you. Will 
you beheve me ? " 

" Come ! " he answered brightly, delicately, " I know 
all you wish to say, because I can feel myself; but I 
could not bear you at the other end of the world just 
now, because I like you near me ; and were you and I 
to go away from each other, as we must, I should stiH 
feel you near me, for whatever is, or has been, is for- 
ever to me." 

" Sir, I can only thank you, and that means more than 
I can say ; but I cannot think why you like me. It is 
most exquisite, but I do not understand it." 



244 CHARLES AUC HESTER. 

He smiled, and his eye kindled. ''I shall not teO 
you, I see you do not know ; I do not wish for you to 
know. But tell me now, will you not, do you enter the 
school this semester? " 

" Yes, sir, I believe so, — at least, I came here on 
purpose; but Aronach does not tell us much, you 
know, sir." 

^ Is that tall young gentleman to enter? '* 

" Yes, sir, — Marc Iskar." 

** And the least, — how do you name him ? ** 

Like a flash of lightning a conception struck me 
through and through. 

^ Sir, he is called Starwood Bumey, from England. 
How I do wish I might tell you sometime ! " 

'' You can tell me anything ; thare is plasty of time and 
room, and no one to hear, if it be a pretty little secret" 

" It is a secret, but not a little one, nor pretty either. 
It is about Starwood. I don't think I ought to trouble 
you about it, and yet I must tell you, because I think 
you can do anything you please." 

" Like a prince in the Arabian tales," he answered 
brightly ; " I fear I am poor in comparison with such, 
for I can only help in one way." 

" And that one way is the very way I want, sir. Star- 
wood loves the pianoforte. I have seen him change all 
over when he talked of it, as if it were his real life. It 
is not a real life he lives with that violin." 

" I wish it had been thyself, whose real life it is, ray 
child," he replied, with a tenderness I could ill brook, 
could less account for ; '* but still thy wish shall be mine. 
Would the little one go with me? He seems t«Tified to 
be spoken to, and it would make my heart beat to flutter 
him." 

" Sir, that is just like you to say so ; but I vxx very 



MUSIC-MAKING. 245 

certain he would soon love you, —not as I do, that 
would be impossible, but so much that you would not 
be sorry you had taken him away. But oh I if I had 
known that you would take and teach, I would never 
have taken up the violin, but have come and thrown 
myself at your feet, sir, and have held upon you till you 
promised to take me. I thought, sir, somehow that you 
did not teach." 

" Understand me, then, that what 1 say I say to satisfy 
you : you are better as you are, better than you could 
be with me. I am a wanderer, and it is not my right to 
teach ; I am bound to another craft, and the only one 
for the perfecting of which it is not my right to call my- 
self poor. Do you understand, Charles?" 

" I think, sir, tliat you mean you make music, and 
that therefore you have no time for the dirty work." 

He broke into a burst of laughter, like joy-l>ells. 
"There is as much dirty work, however, in what you 
call making music. But what I meant for you to under- 
stand was this, that I do not take money for instructing ; 
because that would be to take the bread from the 
mouths of hundreds I love and honor. I have money 
enough; and you know how sweet it is even to give 
money, — how much sweeter to give what cannot be 
bought by money ! I shall take this little friend of 
mine to my own home, if he will go and I am per- 
mitted to do so ; and I shall treat him as my son, be< 
cause he will, indeed, be my music-child, and no more 
indebted to me than I am to music, or than we all are 
to Jehovah.*' 

" Sir, you are certainly a Jew if you say ' Jehovah ; * 
I was quite sure of it before, and I am so pleased." 

" I cannot contradict thee, but I am almost sorry thou 
knowest there are even such people as Jews." 



246 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

" Why so, sir? Pray tell me. I should have thought 
that you J before all other persons, would have rejoiced 
over them." 

" Why so, indeed ! but because the mystery of their 
very name is enough to break the head, and perhaps the 
heart. But now of this little one : he must, indeed, be 
covered as a bird in the nest, and shall be. And if I 
turn him not forth a strong-winged wonder, thou wilt 
stand up and have to answer for him, — is it not so ? " 

*' Sir, I am certain he will play wonderfully upon what 
he calls those ' beautiful cold keys.' " 

" Ah ! " he answered dreamily, " and so, indeed, 
they are, whose very tones are but as different shadows 
of the same one-colored light, the ice-blue darkness, 
and the snowy azure blaze. He has right, if he thinks 
them cold, to find them alone beautiful." He spoke as 
if in sleep. 

" Sir, I do not know what you mean, for I never 
heard even Milans-Andrd." 

" You are to hear him, then ; it is positively needful." 

Again the raillery pointed every word, as if arrows 
" dipped in balm." 

" I mean that I scarcely know what those keys are 
like, for I never heard them really played, except by 
one young lady. I did not find the * Tone-Wreath ' 
cold, but I thought, when she played with Santonio, that 
her playing was cold, — cold compared with his; for 
he was playing, as you know, sir, the violin." 

" You are right ; yes. The violin is the violet ! " 

These words, vividly pronounced, and so mystical to 
the uninitiated, were as burning wisdom to my soul. I 
could have claimed them as my own, so exactly did 
they respond to my own unexpressed necessities. But 
indeed, and in truth, the most singular trait of the pres- 



THE MILL-STREAM. 247 

ence beside me was that nothing falling from his lips 
surprised me. I was prepared for all, though every- 
thing was new. He did not talk incessantly, — on the 
contrary, his remarks seemed sudden, as a breeze up- 
borne and dying into the noonday. There was that in 
them which cannot be conveyed, although conserved, — 
the tones, the manner, so changeful, yet all cast in grace 
unutterable ; passing from vagrant, never wanton mirth, 
into pungent, but never supercilious gravity. Such 
recollection only proves that the beautiful essence flows 
not well into the form of words, — for I remember 
every word he spoke, — but rather dies in being uttered 
forth, itself as music. 

It was dusty in the highway, and we met no one for at 
least a mile except the peasants, who passed into the land- 
scape as part of its picture. The intense green of May, 
and its quickening blossoms, strewed every nook and 
plantation ; but the sweetness of the country, so exuber- 
ant just there, only seemed to frame, with fitting orna- 
ment, the one idea I contemplated, — that he was close 
at hand. There had been much sun, and one was 
naturally inclined to shade in the thrilling May heats, 
which permeate the veins almost like love's fever, and 
are as exciting to the pulses. 

At last we came to a brook, a lovely freshet, broaden- 
ing into a mill-stream ; for we could see far off in the clear 
air the flash of that wheel, and hear its last murmuring 
fall. But here at hand it was all lonely, unspanned by 
any bridge, and having its feathery banks unspoiled by 
any clearing hand. A knot of beautiful beech-trees 
threw dark kisses on the trembling water; there were 
wildest rushes here, and the thick spring leaves of the 
yet unbloomed forget-me-not on either hand. The blue 
hill of Cecilia lay yet before us, but something in my 



248 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

companion's face made me conjecture that here he 
wished to rest. Before he even suggested it I pulled 
out my cambric handkerchief, and running on before 
him, laid it beneath the drooping beech-boughs on the 
sweUing grass. I came back to him again, and entreated 
him to repose. He even flushed with satisfaction at my 
request, which I made, as I ever do, rather imperti- 
nently. He ran, too, with me, and taking out his own 
handkerchief, which was a royal-purple silk, he spread 
it beside mine, and drew me to that throne with his 
transparent fingers upon my hand. I say "transparent," 
for they were as though the roseate blood shone through, 
and the wandering violet veins showed the clearness of 
the unfretted palm. But it was a hand too refined for 
model beauty, too thin and rare for the youth, the al- 
most boyhood, that shone on his forehead and in his un- 
wearied eye. The brightness of heaven seemed to pour 
itself upon my soul as I sat beside him and felt that 
no one in the whole world was at that moment so near 
him as I* He pulled a few rushes from the margin, and 
began to weave a sort of basket. So fleetly his fingers 
twisted and untwisted themselves that it was as if he 
were accustomed to do nothing but sit and weave green 
rushes the livelong day. 

" Pull me some more ! " he said at length implor- 
ingly; and I, who had been absorbed in those clear 
fingers playing, looked up at him as I stretched my arm. 
His eyes shone with the starlight of pure abstraction, 
and I answered not except by gathering the rushes, 
breaking them off", and laying them one by one across 
his knees. The pretty work was nearly finished ; it was 
the loveliest green casket I could have fancied, with a 
plaited handle. It looked like a fairy field-flung treas- 
ure. I wished it were few me. When it was quite ready, 



A SIVEET VOICE. 249 

and as complete and perfect as Nature's own work, he 
rose, and seizing the lowest branch of the swaying beech 
grove, hung the plaything upon it and said, " I wish it 
were filled with ripe red strawberries." 

" Why so, sir? " I ventured. 

" Because one would like to imagine a little child find- 
ing a green basket by the dusty way, filled with straw- 
berries." 

We arose, and again walked on. 

" Sir, I would rather have the basket than the straw- 
berries." 

" I wish a little child may be of your mind. Were 
you happy, Charles, when you were a little child ? " 

" Sir, I was always longing to be a man. I never con* 
sidered what it was to be a little child." 

" Thou art a boy, and that is to be a man-child, — the 
beautiful fate I But it is thy beautiful fate to teach 
others also, as only children teach." 

"I, sir, — how?" 

" Charles, a man may be always longing to be an 
angel, and never consider what it is to be a man." 

His voice was as a sudden wind springing up amidst 
solitary leaves, it was so fitful, so vaguely sweet. I 
looked upon him indeed for the first time with trembling, 
since I had been with him that day. He had fallen into 
a stiller step, for we had reached the foot of the ascent. 
It never occurred to me that I was not expected at 
Cecilia. I tRought of nothing but that I should ac- 
company hira. He suddenly again addressed me in 
English. 

" Did St. Michel ever recover the use of his arm ? " 

I was quite embarrassed. " I never asked about him, 
sir ; but I daresay he did." 

"I thought you would have known. You 



250 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

have asked, I think. Was he a rich man or a poor 
man ? " 

" How do you mean, sir? He was well off, I should 
suppose, for he used to dress a great deal, and had a 
horse, and taught all over the town. Mr. Davy said he 
was as popular as Giardini." 

" Mr. Davy was who, — your godfather ? " 

" My musical godfather I should say, sir. He took 
me to the festival, and had I not accidentally met him I 
should never have gone there, have never seen you. Oh, 
sir ! — " 

" Nothing is accidental that happens to you, to such 
as you. But I should have been very sorry not to have 
seen you. I thought you were a little messenger from 
the other world." 

" It does seem very strange, sir, — at least two things 
especially." 

"What is the first, then?" 

" First, that I should serve you ; and the second, that 
you should like me." 

" No, believe me, it is not strange," — he still spoke 
in that beautiful pure English, swift and keen, as his Ger- 
man was mild and slow, — " not strange that you should 
serve me, because there was a secret agreement between 
us that we should either serve the other. Had you been 
in my place, I should have run to fetch you water ; but I 
fear I should have spilled a drop or two. And how 
could I but like you when you came btfore me like 
something of my own in that crowd, that multitude in 
nothing of me?" 

" Sir," I answered, to save myself from saying what I 
really felt, " how beautifully you speak English ! " 

He resumed in German : " That is nothing, because 
we can have no real language. I make myself think in 



MV COMPANION BECOMES MYSTICAL. 251 

all. I dream first in this, and then in that \ so that, 
amidst the floating fragments, as in the strange mixture 
we call an orchestra^ some accent may be expressed 
from the many voices of the language of our unknown 
home.'' 

As he said these words, his tones, so clear and rever- 
ent, became mystical and inward. I was absolved from 
communion with that soul. His eye, travelling onwards, 
was already with the lime-trees at the summit of the hill 
we had nearly reached, and he appeared to have forgot- 
ten me. I felt how frail, how dissoluble, were the fiery 
links that bound my feeble spirit to that strong immortal. 
But how little I knew it yet ! 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

THE school of Cecilia was not only at the summit 
of the hill, it was the only building on the summit ; 
it was isolated, and in its isolation grand. There were 
cottages in orchards, vine-gardens, fertile lands, an an- 
cient church, sprinkled upon the sides, or nestling in the 
slopes j but itself looked lonely and consecrated, as in 
verity it might be named. A belt of glorious trees, dark 
and dense as a Druid grove, surrounded with an older 
growth the modem superstructure; but its basis had 
been a feudal ruin, whose entrance still remained ; a 
hall, a wide waste of room, of rugged symmetry and 
almost twilight atmosphere. A court-yard in front was 
paved with stone, and here were carriages and unhar- 
nessed horses feeding happily. The doorway of the hall 
was free ; we entered together, and my companion left 
me one moment while he made some arrangements with 
the porter, who was quite alone in his comer. Other- 
wise silence reigned, and also it seemed with solitude ; 
for no one peered among the strong square pillars that 
upheld as rude a gallery, — the approach to which was 
by a sweeping staircase of the brightest oak with noble 
balustrades. Two figures in bronze looked down from 
the landing-place on either hand, and as we passed be- 
tween them I felt their size, if not their beauty, overawe 
me as the shadow of the entrance. They were, strange 
to say, not counterparts, though companion forms of 
the same head, the same face, the same dun laurel 



THE SCHOOL OF CECILIA, 253 

crown ; but the one gathered its drapery to its breast, 
and stretched its hand beckoningly towards the portal, 
— the other with outstretched arm pointed with an ex- 
pression almost amounting to menace down the gallery. 
In niched archways there, one door after another ipet 
the eye, massive and polished, but all closed. 

I implicitly trusted in my companion. I felt sure he 
possessed a charm to open all those doors, and I fol- 
lowed him as he still lightly, as if upon grass, stepped 
from entrance to entrance, not pausing until he reached 
the bend of the gallery. Here was a door unlike the 
others, — wider, slighter, of cloth and glass ; and stealing 
from within those media, with a murmur soft as incense, 
came a mist of choral sounds, confusing me and cap- 
tivating me at once, so that I did not care to stir until 
the mist dissolved and ceased, and I was yet by my com- 
panion's side without the door. 

" We may enter now, I think," he said ; for he had 
waited reverently as I, and he gently pushed those 
folds. 

They slid back, and we entered a narrow lobby, very 
dim and disenchanted looking. Still softly we proceeded 
to another door within, which I had not discovered, and 
he touched that too with an air of subtile and still autho- 
rity. I was dazzled the first instant ; but he took my 
liand directly, and drew me forwards with him to a seat 
in some region of enchantment. As I sat by him there 
I soon recovered myself to the utmost, and beheld 
before me a sight which I shall not easily forget, nor 
ever cease to hold as it was presented to me on that 
occasion. 

It was a vast and vaulted room ; whether of delicate 
or decided architecture I could not possibly declare, 
such a dream it was of wreaths and mystic floral arches. 



254 CHARLES AUCIIESTER. 

Pillars twined with gold-bloomed lime-branches rose bur- 
dened with them to the roof, there mixing into the long 
festoons of oak-leaf that hung as if they grew there from 
the gray-brown rafters. Everywhere was a drooping 
odor that had been oppressive, most unendurably sweet, 
but for the strong air wafted and ruffling through the 
open windows on either hand. 

We were sitting quite behind all others, on the 
loftiest tier of seats, that were raised step by step so 
gently upwards to the back, and beneath us were seats 
all full, where none turned nor seemed to talk \ for all 
eyes were surely allured and riveted by the scenery to 
the fronting end. It was a lofty, arched recess, span- 
ning the extreme width of the hall ; a window, half a 
dome, of glass poured down a condensed light upon two 
galleries within, which leaned into the form of the arch 
itself, and were so thickly interlaced with green that 
nothing else was visible except the figures which filled 
them, draperied in white, side by side in shining rows, 
— like angels, so I thought. Young men and boys above, 
in flowing robes as choristers, overhung the maiden 
forms of the gallery below ; and of these last, every one 
wore roses on the breast, as well as glistening raiment. 
These galleries of greenery were themselves overhanging 
a platform covered with dark-green cloth, exquisitely 
fluted at the sides, and drawn in front over three or 
four steps that raised it from the flooring of the hall. A 
band in two divisions graced the ground floor. I caught 
the sight immediately; but upon the platform itself 
stood a pianoforte alone, a table covered with dark- 
green velvet, and about a dozen dark-green velvet chairs. 
These last were all filled except one, and its late occu- 
pant had pushed that one chair back while he stood at 
the top of the table, with something glittering in his 



milanS'Andr£. 255 

hand, and other somethings glittering before him upon 
the dark-green surface. As we entered, indeed, he was 
so standing, and I took in all I have related with one 
glance, it was, though green, so definite. 

" Ix)ok well at that gentleman who stands," whispered 
my guide, most slowly; "it is he who is dispensing 
the prizes. He is Monsieur Milans-Andrd, whom you 
wished to see." 

I am blessed with a long sight, and I took a long 
survey; but lest I should prejudice the reader, my 
criticisms shall remain in limbo. 

" When we heard the singing it was that he had just 
dispensed a medal ; and it is so the fellow-competitors 
hail the successful student. If I mistake not, there is 
another advancing ; but it is too far for us to hear his 
name. Do you see your master at the awful table? 
But soft 1 I think his face is not this way." 

" Oh ! " I thought, and I laughed in my sleeve, " he 
is dreaming I am safe at home, if he dreams about me 
at all, which is a question." But I was not looking after 
him; I took care to watch Milans-Andrd, feeling sure 
my guide would prefer not to be stared upon in a public 
place like that. 

The voice that called the candidates was high in key, 
and not unrefined ; but what best pleased me was to see 
one advance, — a boy, all blushing and bowing to receive 
a golden medal, which Milans-Andrd, his very self, with 
his own hands, flung round the youngling's neck by its 
long blue ribbon ; for then the same sweet verse in 
semi-chorus sounded from the loftiest gallery, the males 
alone repeating it for their brother. I could not dis- 
tinguish the words, but the style was quite alia 
Ted e sea. 

Then another youth approached, and received mon 



256 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

airily a silver token, with the same blue ribbon and song- 
ful welcome. Another and another, and at last the 
girls were called. 

'' See ! " said my guide, '' they have put the ladies 
last ! That shall not be when I take the reins of the 
committee. Oh, for the Cecilian chivalry ! what a 
taunting remembrance I will make it." 

He was smiling, but I was surprised at the eagerness 
of his tones. 

" Does it matter, sir? " said I. 

'' Signify? It signifies so much the more that it is a 
little thing, a little token. But it shall not grow ; it shall 
not swelL See, see ! look, Charles ! what name was 
that?" 

I had not heard it either, but the impetuosity in his 
tones was so peculiar that I was constrained to look up 
at him. His eye ¥ras dilated ; a singular flash of li^it 
rather than flush of color glowed upon his &ce, as if 
glory from the noonday sun had poured itself through 
the impervious roof. But his gaze forbade my gaze, it 
was so fixed and piercing upon something at the end of 
the hall. Imperceptibly to myself I followed it. The 
first maiden who had approached the chair ¥ras now 
turning to re-pass into her place. She was clad, like the 
galleried ones, in white ; but her whole aspect was un- 
like theirs, for instead of the slow step and lingering 
blush, her movement was a sort of flight, as if her feet 
were sandalled with the wind, back again among the 
crowd ; and as she fled, you could only discern some 
strange gleam of unusual grace in a countenance droop- 
ing, but not bashfully, and veiled with waves, not ring- 
lets, of hair more dark than pine-trees at midnight; 
also, it was impossible not to notice the angry putting 
back of one gloved hand, which crushed up the golden 



THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE MEDALS, 2$y 

medal and an end of the azure ribbon, while the other 
was trailing upon the ground. 

"■She does not like it; she is proud, I suppose!" 
said I ; and I laughed almost loud. " I thought you 
knew them all, sir ? " 

" No, Charles, I was never here before; but as I am 
to have something to do with what they do soon, I 
tliought I had a right to come to-day." 

" A right ! " said I ; " who else, if you had not the 
right, sir? But still I wonder how we got in so easily, — 
I mean I ; for if you had not brought me, I could not, I 
suppose, have come." 

" It is this," he answered smiling, and he touched his 
professor's cloak, or robe, which was now encircling his 
shoulders, and waved about him pliantly. "They all 
wear the same on entering these walls, at least who sit 
at the green table." 

The choral welcome, meantime, had pealed from the 
lower gallery, and another had advanced and retired from 
the ranks beneath. My companion was intently gazing, 
not at the maiden troop, but at the deep festoons above 
us. He seemed to see nothing there though, and the 
very position of his hands, resting upon each other and 
entirely relaxed, bore witness to the languor of his ab- 
straction. It occurred to me how very cool they were, 
both those who distributed, and those who received the 
medals ; I felt there was an absence of the strict ro- 
mance, if I may so name it, I had expected when I 
entered ; for as we sat, and whence we saw, all was ideal 
to the sight, and the sense was even lost in the spiritual 
appreciation of an exact propordonateness to the occa- 
sion. Yet the silence alternating with the rising and 
abating voices, the harmony of the colori 
dowing, the dim rustle of the gre 
VOL. I. — 17 



25 8 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

tures of woody and blossomy fragrance, the indoor for- 
est feeling, so fresh and wild, — all should have stood me 
in stead, perhaps, of the needless enthusiasm I should 
have looked for in such a meeting, or have witnessed 
without surprise. I was not wise enough at that time to 
define the precise degree and kind of enthusiasm I 
should have required to content me, but perhaps it 
would be impossible even now for any degree to con- 
tent me, or for any kind not to find favor in my eyes, if 
natural and spontaneously betrayed. The want I felt, 
however, was just a twilight preparation of the faculties 
for the scene that followed. 

The last silver medal had been carried from the table, 
the last white-robed nymph had sought her seat with the 
ribbon streaking her drapery, when both the choral forces 
rose and sang together the welcome in more exciting 
fulness. And then they all sat down, and a murmur of 
voices and motion began to roll on all sides, as if some 
new part were to be played over. 

The band arose on either side, and after a short, def- 
ferential pause, as if calling attention to something, com- 
menced with perfect precision Weber's " Jubel " over- 
ture.^ It was my companion who told me its name, 
whispering it into my ear ; and I listened eagerly, hav- 
ing heard of its author in every key of praise. 

I did not much care for the effect, though it was as 
cool as needed to be after those cool proceedings. I 
dearly wanted to ask him whether he loved it ; but it was 
unnecessary, for I could see it was even nothing to him 
by his face. He seemed passing judgment proudly, 
furtively, on all that chanced around him, and I could 

1 The Jubilee Overture, written in i8i8 for the accession day 
of the King of Prussia. 



milans-andrjS. 259 

not but feel that he searched all, governed all with his 
eye from that obscure corner. 

Immediately on the conclusion of the overture several 
professors left the table and clustered round the piano- 
forte. One opened it, and then Milans-Andrd ap- 
proached, and waving his creamy gloves, unclothed his 
hands, and stood at the front of the platform. Some 
boisterous shouts arose, — they began near his station, 
and were imitated from the middle benches ; but there 
was an undemonstrative coldness even in these ; they 
seemed from the head, not the heart, as one might say. 
The artist did not appear distressed, — indeed, he looked 
too classically self-reliant to require encouragement. 

He was what might be called extremely handsome. 
There was a largeness about his features that would 
have told well in a bust, — they were perfectly finished ; 
also a Phidias could not have planed another polish on 
the most oval nostril, a Canova could not have pumiced 
unparted lips to more appropriate curve. His eyes 
were too far for me to search, but I did not long to 
come at their full expression. He stood elegantly, 
while the plaudits made their way among the muffling 
leaves, and therein went to sleep ; the golden flowers of 
the lindens hung down withering, smitten by the terror 
of his presence ! My companion — to my suiprise, my 
bewilderment even — applauded also, but, as it were, 
mechanically ; he stood beside me on that topmost tier 
applauding, but his eyes were still fixed upon the roof. 
I heard his voice among the others, and it was just at 
that instant that some one, and that some one in a pro- 
fessor's robe, a gentleman of sage demeanor, startec 
from one of the lower tiers and looked back suddenl 
at him ; as suddenly fired, flushed, lighted, all over 1 
ace, wise and grave as it was. He saw not, still n 



260 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

Still looking upwards ; but I saw and felt, — felt certain of 
the impressions received. A sort of whisper crept along 
the tier, — a portentous thrill; one and another, all 
turned, and before I could gather with my glance who 
had left them, several seats were voided beneath us. 

In a few minutes I hea/d a long and silver thundering 
chord. I knew it was the reveille of the wonderful 
Milans- Andre ; but so many persons were standing and 
running that I could not see, and could scarcely hear. 
Soon all must have heard less. As the keys continued 
to flash in unmitigated splendor, a rushing noise seemed 
arising also from the floor to the ceiling ; it was, indeed, 
an earnest of my own pent-up enthusiasm that could not 
be repressed, for I found myself shouting, hurrahing 
beneath my breath, as all did around me. I was not 
mistaken ; some one opened the door by which we had 
entered, gustily, violently, and drew my companion 
away. Before I thought of losing him, he was gone, — I 
knew not whether led or carried ; I knew not whether 
aroused or in the midst of his high abstraction. 

I pressed downwards, climbing over the benches, 
driving my way among those who stood, that I might 
see all as well as feel ; but at length I stood upon a seat 
and beheld what was worth beholding, is bright to re- 
member ; but oh, how hopeless to record ! Just so 
might a painter dream to pour upon his canvas an ex- 
treme effect of sunset, — those gorgeous effusions of 
golden flame and blinding roses that are dashed into daz- 
zling mist before our hearts have gathered them to us, 
have made them, in beauty so blazingly serene, our own. 

The sound of the keys, so brilliant, grew dulled as by 
a tempest voice in distance \ not alone the hurrahs, the 
vivas, but the stir, the crash of the dividing multitude. 
And before almost I could believe it, I beheld moving 



A TIDE OF DEAFENING ACCLAIM, 26 1 

through the cloven crowd that slight and unembarrassed 
form ; but he seemed alone to move as if urged by some 
potent necessity, for his head was carried loftily, and there 
was not the shadow of a smile upon his face. 

It was evident that the people, between pressing and 
thronging, were determined to conduct him to the plat- 
form ; and it struck me, from his hasty step and slightly 
troubled air, that he longed to reach it, for calm to be 
restored. Milans-Andr6, meantime, — will it be be- 
lieved? — continued playing, and scarcely raised his 
eyes as my conductor at length mounted the steps, and 
seemed to my sight to slirink among those who now 
stood about him. But it was hopeless to restore the 
calm. I knew that from the first. He had no sooner 
trodden the elevation than a burst of joyous welcome 
that drowned the keys, that drenched the very ear, 
forced the pianist to quit his place. No one looked at 
him of young or old^ except those who had confronted 
him at the table. They surrounded him, some with 
smiles and eager questions ; some with provoking grav- 
ity. The other was left alone to stem, as it were, that 
tide of deafening acclaim ; he slightly compressed his 
lip, made a slight motion forwards ; he lifted his hand 
with the slight deprecation that modesty or pride might 
have suggested alike, — still hopelessly. The arrears of 
enthusiasm demanded to be paid with interest; the trarar 
pings, the shower-like claps, the shouts, only deepened, 
widened tenfold : the multitude became a mob, and 
frantic, — but with a glorious zeal ! Some tore handfub 
of the green adorning the pillars, and passing it forward, 
it was strewn on the steps. From the galleries hung the 
excited children, girls and boys, and dividing their bou- 
quets, rained the roses upon his head, that floated, crim- 
son and pink and pearly, to the green floor beneath his* 



262 CHARLES AC'CHESTER, 

feet. ^Ith 2 sort of delicate dcsperatun fae shook his 
hacr frocn those dropped floweia, axid for ooe insrant hid 
h» tare ; the next, dang ^awzk his hands^ and snoiled 
a fia.^hing smile, — so that, firom lip to broir, it was as if 
sorne sanbeam fiuttered in the cage of a losf ckxid, 
smiling above, below, and everywhere it seemed, — ran 
round the group of professors to the piano, and without 
seating himself, without prelude, b^an a low and hjmn- 
like mekKly. 

Oh \ that you had heard the loIL like a dream dying, 
dissolving from the awakening brain, — the deep and 
tremendous, yet living and breathing stiUness* — that 
sank upon each pulse of that enthusiasm raised and 
fanned by him, and by him absorbed and hidden to 
brood and be at rest ! 

I know not which I felt the most, the passion of that 
almost bursting heart of silence, as it were, rolled to- 
gether into a purple bud from its noon-day efflorescence 
by the power that had alone been able to unsheathe its 
glories, — or that stealing, creeping People's Song, that 
in {z^ and simple chords, beneath one slender, tender 
pair of hands, held bound, as it were, and condensed in 
one voice the voice of myriads. For myself, I writhed 
with bliss, I was petrified into desolation by delight ; but 
I was not singular on that occasion, for those around 
mc seemed alone to live, to breathe, that they might re- 
ceive and retain those few precious golden notes, and 
learn those glorious lineaments, so pale, so radiant with 
the suddenly starting hectic, as his hands still stirred the 
keys to a fiercer inward harmony than that they veiled 
by touch. 

It was not long, that holy People's Song ; I scarcely 
think it lasted ^vq minutes, — certainly not more ; but the 
effect may be better conceived, and the power of the 



A POOR SUCCESSOR TO A MASTER HAND, 263 

player appreciated, when I say not one note was lost : 
each sounded, rang almost hollow, in the intense per- 
vading silence. 

" It is over," I thought, as he raised those slender 
hands, after a rich reverberating pause on the final 
chord, swelling with dim arpeggios on the harmony as 
into the extreme of vaulting distance, — "it is over; 
and they will make that dreadful noise unless he plays 
again." Never have I been so mistaken: but how 
could I anticipate aught of him ? For as he moved he 
fixed his eyes upon the audience, so that each individ- 
ual must have felt the glance within his soul, — so 
seemed to feel it ; for it expressed a command sheathed 
in a supplication, unearthly, irresistible, that the applause 
should not be renewed. 

There was perfect stilbiess, and he turned to Milans- 
Andr6 and spoke. Every one beneath the roof must have 
heard his words, for they were distinct as authoritatively 
serene. " Will you be so good as to resume your seat ? " 
And as if swayed by some angel power, — such as drove 
the ass of Balaam to the wall, — the imperial pianist sat 
down, flushed and rather ruffled, but with a certain 
pomp it was trying to me to witness, and re-com- 
menced the concerto which had been so opportunely 
interrupted. Attention seemed restored, so far as the 
ear of the multitude was concerned ; but every eye wan- 
dered to him who now stood behind the player and 
turned the leaves of the composition under present 
interpretation. He seemed attentive enough, — not 
the slightest motion of his features betrayed an unsettied 
thought. His eyes were bent proudly, but calmly, upon 
the page ; the rose light had faded from his cheek as 
the sunset flows from heaven into eternity, — but how 
did he feel ? Hopeless to record, because lippeless to 



264 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

imagine. Perhaps nothing; the triumph so short but 
bright had no doubt become such phantasm as an un- 
noticeable yesterday to one whose future is fraught with 
expectation. 

The concerto was long and elaborately handled. I 
felt I really should have admired it, have been thereby 
instructed, had not he been there. But there is some- 
thing grotesque in talent when genius, even in repose, is 
by. It is as the splendor of a festive illumination when 
the sun is rising upon the city ; that brightness of the 
night turns pale and sick, while the celestial darkness is 
passing away into day. There was an oppression upon 
all that I heard, for something different had unprepared 
me for anything, everything, except something else like 
itself. The committee were again at the table, and when 
I grew weary of the second movement, I looked for my 
master, and found him exactly opposite, but certainiy 
not conscious of me. His beard was delightfully 
trimmed, and his ink'black eyebrows were just as usual ; 
but I had never seen such an expression as that with 
which he regarded the one. It was as if a stone had 
rolled from his heart, and it had begun to beat like a 
child's; it was as if his youth were renewed, like the 
eagle's; it was as if he were drinking, silently but 
deeply, celestial knowledge from those younger heavenly 
eyes. " Does he love him so well, then ? " thought I. 
Oh that I had known it, Aronach, for then I should 
have loved you, have found you out ! But of course you 
don't think we are worthy to partake such feeling, and I 
don't know but that you are right to keep it from us. 
"Would that concerto never be over?" was my next 
surmise, — it was about the longest process of exhaus- 
tion to which I had ever been subjected. As for me, I 
yawned until I was dreadfully ashamed; but when I 



WEARINESS. 265 

bethought myself to look round, lo ! there were fiw^ or 
six just out of yawns as well, and a few who had passed 
that stage and closed their eyes. It never struck me as 
unconscionable that we should tire, when we might gaze 
upon the face of him who had shown himself ready to 
control us all ; indeed, I do believe that had there been 
nothing going on, no concerto, no Milans-Andr^, but 
that he had stood there silent, just as calm and still, — 
we should never have wearied the whole day long 
of feeding upon the voiceless presence, the harmony 
unresolved. But do you not know, oh, reader ! the 
depression, the protracted suffering occasioned by the 
contemplation of any work of art — in music, in verse, 
in color, or in form — that is presented to us as model, 
that we coaxed to admire and enticed to appreciate, 
after we have accidentally but immediately beforehand 
experienced one of those ideal sensations that, whether 
awakened by Nature, by Genius, or by Passion suddenly 
elated, claim and condense our enthusiasm, so that we 
are not aware of its existence except on a renewal of 
that same sensation so suddenly dashed away from us as 
our sober self returns, and our world becomes again to- 
day, instead of that eternal something, — new, not 
vague, ^d hidden, but not lost? 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

SO absorbed was I, either in review or revery, that I 
felt not when the concerto closed, and should have 
remamed just where I was, had not the door swung 
quietly behind me. 1 saw who beckoned me from be- 
yond it, and was instantly with him. He had divested 
himself of his cloak, and seemed ready rather to fly 
than to walk, so light was his frame, so elastic were his 
motions. He said, as soon as we were on the stairs : 

*' I should have come for you long ago, but I thought 
it was of no use until such time as I could find something 
you might eat ; for, Carlomein, you must be very hun« 
gry. I have caused you to forego your dinner, and it 
was very hard of me ; but if you will come with me, 
you shall have something good and see something 
pretty." 

" I am not hungry, sir," I of course replied ; but he 
put up his white finger, — 

" I am, though ; please to permit me to eat ! Come 
this way." 

He led me along a passage on the ground-floor of the 
entrance hall and through an official-looking apartment 
to a lively scene indeed. This was a room without walls, 
a sort of garden-chamber leading to the grounds of the 
Academy, now crowded ; for the concerto had con- 
cluded, with the whole performance, and the audience 
had dispersed immediately, though not by the way we 
came, for we had met no one. Pillars here and there 



THE REFRESHMENT PAVILION. 26/ 

Upheld the roof, which was bare to the beams, and also 
dressed with garlands. Long tables were spread below, 
all down the centre, and smaller ones at the sides, each 
covered with beautful white linen, and decked with flut- 
tering ribbons and little knots of flowers. Here piles of 
plates and glasses, coffee-cups and tureens, betokening 
the purport of this pavilion ; but they were nothing to 
the baskets trimmed with fruits, the cakes and fancy 
bread, the masses of sweetmeat in all imaginable pre- 
paration. The middle of the largest table was built up 
with strawberries only, and a rill of cream poured from 
a silver urn into china bowls at the will of a serene 
young female who seemed in charge. A great many 
persons found their way hither, and were crowding to 
the table, and the refreshing silence was only broken by 
the restless jingle of spoons and crockery. My guide- 
smiled with a sprightly air. 

" Come ! we must find means to approach as well, 
for the strawberry pyramid will soon not have left one 
stone upon another." 

I made way instantly to the table, and with no 
small difticulty smuggled a plate and had it filled with 
strawberries. I abjured the cream, and so did he to 
whom I returned; but we began to wander up and 
down. 

" Let me recommend you," said he, " a slice of white 
bread ; it is so good with strawberries ; otherwise you 
must eat some sausage, for that fruit will never serve 
alone, — you might as well starve entirely, or drink 
dew- water." 

" I don't see any bread," I answered, laughing ; " it 
is all eaten." 

" Oh, oh ! " he returned, and with the air of Puck he 
tripped across the pavilion to a certain table from which 



208 CHARLES A (/CHESTER. 

the fair superintendent had flown. The ribbons and 
wreaths danced in the breeze^ but the white linen was 
bare of a single loaf. 

*' I must have some bread for thee, Cariomein ; and 
I, indeed, myself begin to fed the want unknown to 
angels.'' 

Could this be the same, it struck me, who discoursed 
like an angel of that high throng? So animated was 
he, such a sharp brightness sparkled in his eyes. 

" Somebody has run away with the loaf on purpose," 
he continued, with his dancing smile ; '' I saw a charm- 
ing loaf as I came in, but then the strawberries put it 
out of my head, and lo ! it is gone." 

" I will get some bread ! ** and oflF I darted out of 
the pavilion, he after me, and all eyes upon us. 

It was a beautiful scene in the air : a lovely garden, 
not too trim, but diversified with mounds and tree- 
crowned slopes, all furnished with alcoves, or seats and 
tables. Here was a hum of voices, there a fragment of 
part-song scattered by a laugh, or hushed with reverent 
shyness as all arose, whether sitting or lying, to uncover 
the head as my companion passed. There were groups 
of ten or twelve, five or six, or two and two together ; 
many sat upon the grass, itself so dry and mossy ; and 
it was upon one of these parties, arranged in half Ely- 
sian, half gypsy style, that my companion fixed his 
thrilling eyes. 

He darted across the grass. " I have it ! I see it ! " 
and I was immediately upon his footsteps. These were 
all ladies ; and as they wore no bonnets, they could not 
uncover, but at the same time they were not conscious 
of our approach at first. They made a circle, and had 
spread a linen cloth upon the fervid floor : each had a 
plate, and almost every one was eating, except a young 



DEFIANCE OF ETIQUETTE, 269 

girl in the very middle of the ring. She was dispensing, 
slice by slice, our missing bread-cake. But I did not 
look farther, for I was lost in observing my guide ; not 
understanding his expression, which was troubled and 
fallen, while his hght tones shook the very leaves. 

" Ah, the thieves, the rogues, to steal the bread from 
our very mouths ! Did I not know where I should find 
it ? You cannot want it aU : give us one slice, only one 
little slice ! for we are starving, as you do not know, and 
beggars, as you cannot see, for we look like gentlemen.'* 

I never shall forget the effect of his words upon the lit- 
tle group \ all were scared and scattered in a moment, — 
all except the young lady who held the loaf in her lap. 
I do not say she stirred not, on the contrary, it was tlie 
impulsive grace of her gesture, as she swayed her hand 
to a little mound of moss by her side, just deserted, that 
made me start and turn to see her, that turned me from 
his face a moment "Ah ! who art thou?" involunta- 
rily sounded in my yet unaverted ear. He spoke as if to 
me, but how could I reply ? I was lost as he, but in far 
other feelings than his, — at least I thought so, for I was 
surprised at his ejaculatory wonder. 

** I will cut some bread for you, sir, if you will conde- 
scend to sit," said a voice, which was as that of a child at 
its evening prayer, so full it was of an innocent tdlesse, 
not naivete, but differing therefrom as differs the lisp of 
infancy from the stammer of diffident manhood. 

" I should like to sit ; come also, Carlomein," replied 
my companion ; and in defiance of all the etiquette of 
social Germany, which so defiantly breathes ice between 
the sexes, I obeyed. So did he his own intention ; for 
he not only remained, but knelt on one knee, while gaz- 
ing with two suns in his eyes, he recalled the scattered 
company. 



2/0 CHARLES AUCHESTER, 

• 

" Come back 1 come back ! " he cried ; ** I order 
you ! " and his silent smile seemed beckoning as he 
waved his elfin hand. One strayed forward, blushing 
through the hair; another disconcerted; and they all 
seemed sufficiently puzzled. 

The gathering completed, my conductor took up the 
basket and peeped into every corner, laughed aloud, 
handed it about, and stole no glance at the maiden pre- 
sident. I was watching her, though for a mighty and 
thrilling reason, that to describe in any measure is an 
expectation most like despair. Had she been his sister, 
the likeness between them had been more earthly, — 
less appalling. I am certain it struck no one else pres- 
ent, and it probably might have suggested itself to no 
one anywhere besides, as I have since thought ; but me 
it clove through heart and brain, like a two-edged sword 
whose temper is light instead of steel. So I saw and 
felt that she partook intimately, not alone of his nature, 
but of his inspiration ; not only of his beauty, but his 
unearthly habit. And now, how to breathe in words the 
mystery that was never explained on earth I He was 
pure and clear, his brow like sun-flushed snow high 
lifted into light, — her own dark if soft, and toned with 
hues of night from the purple under-deeps of her heavy 
braiding hair. His features were of mould so rare that 
their study alone as models would have superseded by a 
new ideal the old fresh glories of the Greek marble 
world, — hers were flexibly inexpressive, all their splen- 
dor slept in uncharacteristic outline, and diffused them- 
selves from her perfect eyes, as they awoke on her parted 
lips. 

His eyes, so intense and penetrative, so wise and bril- 
liant, with all their crystal calm and rousing fire, were as 
unlike hers as the sun in the diamond to the sun upon 



CONTRAST, YET RESEMBLANCE, 2/1 

the lonely sea. In hers the blue-green transparence 
seemed to serve alone as a mirror to reflect all hues of 
heaven; in his, the heaven within as often struggled 
with the paler show of paradise that Nature lent him in 
his exile. But if I spoke of the rest, — of the traits that 
pierce only when the mere veiling loveliness is rent 
asunder, — I should say it must ever bid me wonder to 
have discovered the divine fraternity in such genuine 
and artless symbol. It was as if the same celestial fire 
permeated their veins, — the same insurgent longings 
lifted their very feet from the ground. The elfin hands 
of which I spoke were not more rare, were not more 
small and subtile, than the little grasping fingers she ex- 
tended to offer him the bread, and from which his own 
received it. Nor was there wanting in her smile the 
strange immortal sweetness that signalized his own, — 
hers broke upon her parted lips like fragrance, the fra- 
grance that his seemed to bear fi*om the bursting buds 
of thought in the sunshine of inward fancy. But what 
riveted the resemblance most was the instancy of their 
sympathetic communion. While those around had 
quietly resumed their occupation, too busy to talk, — 
though certainly they might have been forgiven for being 
very hungry, — he^ no more kneeling, but rather lying 
than sitting, with his godlike head turned upwards to 
the sky, continued to accost her, and I heard all they 
said. 

" I knew you again directly, you perceive, but you do 
not look so naughty now as you did in the school ; you 
were even angry, and I cannot conceive why." 

"Cannot you, sir?" she replied, without the slightest 
embarrassment. " I wonder whether you would like to 
be rewarded for serving music." 

" It rewards us^ you cannot avoid its reward ; but I 



2/2 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

agree with you about the silver and the gokL We will 
have no more medals." 

'' They like them, sir, those who have toiled for them, 
and who would not toil but for the promise of some- 
thing to show." 

'* And the blue ribbons are very pretty." 

'^ So is the* blue sky, and they can neither give it us 
nor take it from us ; nor can they our reward*" 

** And that reward ? " asked he. 

" Is to suffer for its sake," she answered. 

He lifted his eyebrows in a wondering archness. " To 
suffer? To sufifer, who alone enjoy, and are satisfied, 
and glorify happiness above all others, and above all 
other things ? " 

*' Not all suffer, only the faithful ; and to suffer is not 
to sorrow, and of all joy the blossom-sorrow prepares the 
fruit" 

** And how old are you whose blossom-sorrow I cer- 
tainly cannot find in any form upon your maiden 
presence ? " 

" You smile, and seem to say, * Thou hast not yet lived 
the right to speak, — purchased by experience the free- 
dom of speech.* I am both young and old. I believe 
I am younger than any just here, and 1 know more than 
they all do." 

" Was it pride," thought I, " that curled beneath those 
tones so flowery soft ? " for there was a lurking bitterness 
I had not found in him, 

" Not younger than this one ; " he took my hand and 
spread it across his knee. " These fingers are to weave 
the azure ribbon next" 

" He is coming, I know, but is not come ; his name 
is upon the books. I hope he will not be an out-Ceci- 
lian, because I should Uke to know him, and we cannot 



BLUE VIOLETS. 2/3 

know very well those who do not reside within the 
walls." 

" He is one of my very friendly ones. Will you also 
be very friendly with him ? " 

" I always will. Be friendly now ! " and she smiled 
upon me an instant, very soon letting fall her eyes, in 
which I then detected a Spanish droop of the lids, 
though, when raised, her glance dispelled the notion, for 
the brightness there shone all unshorn by the inordinate 
length of the lashes, and I never saw eyes so light, with 
lashes so defined and dark. 

" So, sir, this azure ribbon which you admire is also 
to be woven for him ? " she continued, as if to prolong 
the conversation. 

** Not if symbols are to be the order of the day, for, 
Carlomein, your color is not blue.^^ 

" No, sir ; it is violet, you said." 

"We say blue violets,^' 

" Yes, sir," she responded quickly. *' So we say the 
blue sky at night ; but how different at night and by 
day ! The violet holds the blue, but also that deeper 
soul by the blue alone made visible. All sounds seem 
to sleep in one, when that is the violin." 

" You are speaking too well ; it makes me afraid you 
will be disappointed," I said in my first surprise. Then, 
feeling I had blundered, "I mean in me." 

" That would make no difference. Music is, and is 
eternal. We cannot add one moment to its eternity, 
nor by our inaptitude diminish the proper glory of our 
art. Is it not so, sir ? " she inquired of him. 

Like a little child somewhat impatient over a morning 
lesson, he shook his hair back and sprang upon his feet. 

" I wish you to show me the garden before I go : is 
this where you walk ? And where is the Raphael ? " 

VOL. I.— 1 8 



274 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

" That is placed in the conservatory, by order of Mon- 
sieur Milans-Andr^." 

" Monsieur myself will have it moved. Why in the 
conservatory, I wonder? It should be a/ homCy I 
think." 

** It does look very well there to-day, as it is hung 
with its peculiar garland, — the white roses.^' 

" Yes, the angel-roses. Oh, come, see, let us go to 
the angel-roses ! " and he ran down the bank of grass, 
and over the lawn among the people. 

I was very much surprised at his gleeful impatience, 
not knowing a whit to what they alluded ; and I only 
marvelled that no one came to fetch him, that we were 
suffered so long to retain him. We followed, I not 
even daring to look at the girl who had so expressed 
herself in my hearing, as to make me feel there were 
others who also felt ; and turning the corner of the pa- 
vilion, we came into the shadow of a lovely walk planted 
and arched with lindens. It ran from a side door of the 
school house to an indefinite distance. We turned into 
this grove, and there again we found him. 

" How green, how ravishing ! " he exclaimed, as the 
sunsprent shadows danced upon the ground. " Oh ! that 
scent of scents, and sweetest of all sweetnesses, the lin- 
den flower ! You hold with me there, I think ? " 

** Yes, entirely ; and yet it seems just sweet enough to 
promise, not to be, all sweetness." 

**I do not hold with you there. All that is sweet 
we cherish for itself, — or I do, — and I could not be 
jealous of any other sweetness when one sweetness 
filled up my soul." 

" Yes," I thought ; but I did not express it, even to 
myself, as it now occurs to me, — " that is the difference 
between your two temperaments." And so indeed it 



THE C0NSERVA2VRY. 2/5 

was : he aspired so high that he could taste all sweetness 
in every sweetness, even here ; she — younger, weaker, 
frailer — could only lose herself between the earth and 
heaven, and dared not cherish any sweetness to the 
utmost, while here unsafely wandering. 

"And this conservatory, — how do you use it? " 

*^ We do not use it generally ; we may walk round it : 
but on state occasions refreshments are served there to 
our professors and their friends. I daresay it will be 
so to-day." 

" There will be people in there, you mean? In that 
case I think I shall remain, and sun myself on the out- 
side. You, Carlomein, shall go in and look at the 
picture for me." 

" Is it a picture, sir ? But I cannot see it for you ; I 
should be afraid. I wish you would come in, sir ! " 

" Ah, I know why ! You are frightened lest Aronach 
should pounce upon you, — is it not ? " 

I laughed. " A little, sir." 

" Well, in that case I will come in. It does look in- 
viting, — pretty room ! " 

We stopped at the conservatory door. It was rather 
large, and very long; a table down the centre was 
dressed with flowers, and overflowing dishes decked 
the board. There were no seats, but a narrow walk 
ran round, and over this the foreign plants were grouped 
richly, and with extelling taste. The roof was not 
curtained with vine-leaves, as in England, but it was 
covered with the immense leaves and ivory-yellow blos- 
soms of the magnolia grandiflora, which made the small 
arched space appear expanded to immensity by the 
largeness of its type, and gave to all the exotics an air 
of home. 

At the end of the vista, some thirty feet in length, 



2^0 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

tliiTC were several persons all turned from us ; and as 
\vi' iTept aloii^, one by one» until we reached that end, 
the ottors of jasmine and tuberose were hea\y upon 
tviT)' breath. I felt as if I must faint until we attained 
th.it |H)int where a cool air entered; refreshing, though 
list- If just out of the hotiest sunshine I had almost ever 
h It. 'l*his breeze came through arched doors on either 
\\\\\A half open and met in two embracing currents where 
the picture hung. All were looking at the picture, and 
I instantly refrained from criticism. It was hung by in- 
visible ei)nls to the framework of the conserx-atory, and 
tluMuc dependcil. About it and around it clustered 
the deep purple bells and exquisite tendrils and leaves 
i»l the n^iwirnndia, while the scarlet passion-flower met it 
nlujve and mingled its mystic splendors. Other strange 
nh»ries, but for mc nameless, pressing underneath, shed 
their ^lowiu^ nmilcK from fretted urns or vases ; but 
nioMinl the frame, and so close to the picture as to hide 
it*^ other frame entirely, lay the cool white roses, in that 
d:\/:'lin^ uooii so seeming, and amidst those burning 
r(>lois. riie pirliire itself was divine as painting can 
render its eaithly ideal, so strictly significant of the set 
mles of beiuity. All know the "Saint Cecilia" of 
U:iph:\el d* U rhino ; this was one of the oldest copies, 
•\\\\\ wns the ^riMtest treasure of the comraitttee, having 
beeu pnnhased for an extravagant sum by the president 
fuMu the lunds of the foundation, — a proceeding I did 
tint elenrly et^mprehcud, but was too ignorant to tamper 
uith. It wns the young lady who enlightened me as I 
'^tnod bv ber side. Of those who stood there I con- 
rliui(Ml the most part had already refreshed themselves ; 
thr y held j^lntes or j^lassea, and in a few moments first 
one iKwA tlien nni^her rerognizcd our companion, and 
thnt \\\\\\ a reverential impresBivcness it charmed me to 



THE RIVAL PROFESSORS MEET, 2/7 

behold. It may have been the result of his exquisitely 
bright and simple manner, for he had wholly put aside 
the awful serene reserve that had controlled the crowd 
in public. Milans-Andr^ happened to be there ; I be- 
held him now, and also saw that, taking hold upon that 
arm I should not have presumed to touch, he drew on 
our guide as if away from us. But this one stayed, and 
resting his hand upon the table, inquired with politeness 
for a court, — 

" Where is your wife ? Is she here to-day ? I want 
to show her to a young gentleman." 

Milans-Andr^ looked down upon him, for he was 
quite a head taller, though not tall himself. "She is 
here, but not in here. I left her with the Baroness Sil- 
berung. Come and see her in-doors. She will be 
highly flattered." 

" No, I am not coming ; I have two children to take 
charge of. Where is Professor Aronach ? " 

** In the committee-room, and in a great rage, — with 
you, too, it appears. Chevalier." 

" With me, is it ? I am so glad ! " 

He stepped back to us. 

" I do not believe that any one can make him so 
angry as I can ! It is charming, Carlomein ! " 

Oh, that name, that dear investment 1 How often it 
thrilled me and troubled me with delight that day. 

" I suppose, sir, I have something to do with it.** 

Before he could reply, Milans-Andrd had turned 
back, and with scornful complacency awaited him 
near a glass dish of ices dressed with ice-plant He 
looked revengeful, too, as he helped himself; and 
on our coming up, he said, " Do you eat nothing, 
Chevalier?" while filling a plate with the pink-frozen 
strawberry. 



278 CHARLES AUC HESTER. 



« 



Oh ! I could eat it, if I would ; for who could resist 
that rose-colored snow ? But I have no time to eat ; I 
must go find Aronach, for I dreamed I should find him 
here/' 

" My dear Chevalier, drink then with me ! " 

'' In Rhine wme ? Oh, yes, mein Herr Professor ! 
and let us drink to all other professors and chevaliers in 
ourselves represented." 

The delicately caustic tones in which he spoke were, 
as it were, sheathed by the unimpeachable grace of his 
demeanor as he snatched first one, and then another, and 
the third, of three tall glasses, and filling them fi:om the 
tapering bottle to the brim, presented one to the lovely 
girl who had screened herself behind me, one to myself, 
and the third to himself ; all the while regarding Milans- 
Andre, who was preparing his own, with a mirthful ex- 
pression, still one of the very sweetest that could allure 
the gaze. 

When Andr^ looked up, he turned a curious paleness, 
and seemed almost stoned with surprise. I could 
neither understand the one nor the other ; but after our 
pledge, which we two heartily responded to, my maiden 
companion gave me a singular beckoning nod, which 
the instant reminded me of Miss Lawrence, and at the 
same time moved and stood four or five steps away. 
I followed to the pomegranate plant. 

" Come even closer," she whispered ; " for I daresay 
you are curious about those two." 

If she had not been, as she was, most unusually 
beautiful to behold, I should dearly have grudged her 
that expression, — '* those two ; " but she constrained 
me by her sea-blue eyes to attentive silence. 

" You see what a power has the greater one over the 
other. I have never seen him before, but my brother has 



^'THE CHEVALIER SERAPHAEW 2'jg 

told me about him ; besides, here he is worshipped, and 
no wonder. The Cecilia School was founded by one 
Gratianos, a Bachist, about forty years ago, but not to 
succeed all at once, of course ; the foundations were too 
poorj and the intentions too sublime. Louis Spohr*s 
works brought us first into notice, because our students 
distinguished themselves at a certain festival four years 
ago. The founder died about that time, and had not 
Milans-Andre put himself in the way to be elected presi- 
dent, we should have gone to nothing ; but he was rich, 
and wanted to be richer, so he made of us a speculation, 
and his name was sufficient to fill the classes from all 
parts of Europe. But we should have worse than gone 
to nothing soon, for we were slowly crystallizing into the 
same order as certain other musical orders that shall not 
be named, for perhaps you would not know what I 
mean by quoting them.** 

*' I could, if you would explain to me, and I suppose 
you mean the music that is studied is not so select as it 
should be." 

"That is quite enough to the purpose," she pro- 
ceeded, with quite an adult fluency. "About three 
months ago we gave a great concert. The proceeds 
were for enlarging the premises, and we had a great 
crowd, — not in the room we used to-day, which is new, 
but in the large room we shall now keep for rehearsals. 
After the concert, which Andr^ conducted, and at which 
all the prodigies assisted, the conductor read us a let- 
ter. It was from one we had all heard of, and whom 
many of us loved secretly, and dared not openly, for 
reasons sad and many, — from the ' Young Composer,* 
as Andr^ satirically chose to call him, the Chevalier 
Seraphael." 

"Oh!" I cried, "is that his name? What a won- 



280 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

dcrful same 1 It is like an angel to be caUed 
Seraphael." 

*' Hush ! none of that now, because I shall not be 
able, perhaps, to tell you what I want you to know be- 
fore you come here. Seraphael had just refused the 
post of Imperial pianist, which had been pressed upon 
him very earnestly ; and the reason he gave for refusing 
it certainly stands alone in the annals of artistic policy, 
— that there was only one composer living to whom the 
office of Imperial pianist should be confided, and by 
whom it must be assumed, — Milans-Andrd himself. 
Then it went on to insinuate that by exclusive exchange 
only could such an arrangement be effected ; in short, 
that Milans-Andrd, who must not go out of Austria, 
should be prevailed upon, in that case, to resign the 
humble position that detained him here, to the young 
composer himself. Now Milans-Andr^ did resign, as 
you may suppose; but, they say, not without a dou- 
ceur, and we presented him with a gold beaker engraved 
with his own arms, when he retired, — that was not the 
douceur, mind ; he had a benefit." 

*' That means a concert, with all the money it brought 
for himself. But why did you not see the Chevalier until 
to-day?" 

" Some of ours did, — the band and the chorus ; but 
I do not belong to either. You have no idea what it is 
to serve music under Milans-Andr^ : and when he came 
to-day, we all knew what it meant, who were wishing for 
a new life. It was a sort of electric snapping of our 
chains when he played to-day." 

"With that Volkslied?" 

"Yes," she responded, with tremulous agitation, 
^^ with that Volkslied. Who shall say he does not know 
all hearts?" 



A SONG WITHOUT WORDS, 28 1 

" But it is not a Burschen song,^ nor like one ; it is 
like nothing else.'' 

" No, thank God ! a song for the women as well as 
the men. You never heard such tones, nor I. Well it 
was that we could put words to them, everybody there." 

" And yet it was a song without words," said a voice 
so gentle that it stole upon my imagination like a sigh. 

"Oh, sir, is it you?" 

I started, for he was so near to us I was afraid he 
might have been vexed by hearing. But she was un- 
changed, unruffled as a flower of the conservatory by the 
wind without She looked at him full, and he smiled 
into her very eyes. 

" I only heard your very last words. Do not be 
afraid, for I knew you were talking secrets, and that is 
a play I never stop. But, Carlomein, when you have 
played your play, I must carry you to your master, 
whom I might call ours^ and beg his pardon for all my 
iniquities." 

" Oh, sir ! as if you needed," I said ; but the young 
lady answered, — 

" / shall retreat, then, sir, — and indeed this is not 
my place." 

She courtesied lowly as to a monarch, but without a 
shadow of timidity, or so much as the flutter of one' rose- 
leaf, and passed out among the flowers, he looking after 
her strangeiy, wistfully. 

" Is not that a Cecilia, Carlomein?" 

" If you think so, sir." 

" You do not think it? You ought to know as well 
as I. As she is gone, let us go." 

1 The Volkslied lis a people's song ; the Burschenlied a sttt* 
dent's song. 



282 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

And lightly as she fled, he turned back to follow her. 
But u'c had lost her when we came into the garden. As 
he passed along, however, also among the flowers, he 
touched first one and then another of the delicate plants 
a!>stractedly, until at length he pulled off one blossom of 
an eastern jasmine, — a l)eautiful specimen, white as his 
own forehead, and of perfume sweetest next his breath. 

" Oh ! " said he gayly, " I have bereaved the soft 
sisterhood ; but," he added earnestly, as he held the 
pale blossom between his fairest fingers, "I wonder 
whether they are unhappy so far from home. I wonder 
whether they know they are away ! " 

"I should think not, sir, or they would not blossom 
so beautifully." 

" That is nothing, and no reason, O Carlomein ! for 
I have seen such a beautiful soul that was away from 
home, and it was very homesick ; yet it was so fair, so 
very fair, that it would put out the eye of this little 
flower." 

I could not help saymg, or quickly murmuring rather, 
"It must be your soul then, sir." 

"Is it mine to thee? It is to me another; but 
that does not spoil thy pretty compliment " 

I never heard tones so sweet, so infantine. But we 
had reached the door of the glass chamber, and I then 
observed that he was gazing anxiously — certainly with 
inquiry — at the sky. At that moment it first struck me 
that since our entrance beneath the shadowy greenness 
the sun had gone in. Simultaneously a shade, as fi-om 
a springing cloud, had fallen upon that brilliant coun- 
tenance. We stepped out into the linden grove, and 
then it came upon me, indeed, that the heavens were 
dulled, and a leaden languor had seized upon the fresh 
young foliage. Both leaves and yellow blossom hung 



A FLASH OF LIGHTNING. 283 

wearily in the gloom, and I felt the intense lull that pre- 
cedes an electric shower. I looked at him. He was 
entirely pale, and the soft lids of his eyes had dropped, 
— their lights had gone in like the sun. His lips seemed 
to flutter, and he spoke with apprehensive agitation. 

" I think it will rain, but we cannot stay in the con- 
servatory." 

" Sir, it will be dry there," I ventured. 

" No, but if it should thunder." 

At the very instant the western cloudland, as it were, 
shook with a quivering flash, though very far off"; for the 
thunder was, indeed, but a mutter several minutes after- 
wards. But he seemed stricken into stillness, and moved 
not from the trees at the entrance of the avenue. 

" Oh ! sir," I cried, — I could not help it, I was in 
such dread for him, — "do not stand under the trees. 
It is a very little way to the house, and we can run." 

" Run, then," he answered sweetly. " But I cannot ; 
I never could stir in a storm." 

" Pray, sir, oh pray, come ! " the big drops were be- 
ginning to prick the leafy calm. " And you will take 
cold too, sir. Oh, come I " 

But he seemed as if he could scarcely breathe. He 
pressed his hands on his brow and hid his eyes. I 
thought he was going to faint ; and under a vague im- 
pression of fetching assistance, I rushed down the 
avenue. 



1^, ^ >)• -xfiT^fKr vssmsst Tiy sxxmxzxan ';i6bx». tsptr <ir 
■hr.»?» Tivn h-jti "he *nfL Z ai^r ±e t&bdc .inHtf't!!! 
n^neif, III ir,r/tftrt mi-l --ir^r'nir hi jmnenae: :irnTnnr?!]«x.. 

w.rx *3qB!*miwR, * ^ 'J I aiTKv jave aia: Jeri: nnr wass: je 

•>,A f*;n *rr«?»s*/ur.or tcrja 217 ieai-L ant -rut ^5ra: -rrnmSar 
^-ir*ry tvtm :>ivt Vj^a !*jnaB«ixn| asrt i-fra^ TnairTiTiily^ yet 
:-, •:*,<^ <:«5r;iry>t. »r.«: [ zead cbeai icci Ibesuni me. 
H'irtr *:y*.';)r*wr^jl -jt^ f ? I rarasd 231 jiiinwf. anenss. 

'-*y >*ry *7*-t f,«a^ '/r, Vjrt •ir»2HEX:z dcf- c wVgih abr 

j*r,;^-/o^ H.^ 1»»^ frfTjC %m-.^":3t2* Ic: sesszisr: scmt liiocj 
*// v/^rt^ t>ftr;/-,:;V!: ':^, f^frufi ijrA r*aaBL asud iras erea 3m- 
4Jrtf^ifr^^x *A ; ht ;^>J tht ussbrtlta acorc casat bodi. 

W*^ h*/J ^/tAy *n^t rU'^ ^\ wt cro«j«rd iht laro. — 
K^'if ir^j/ Mtt^i <fJ/-vrrtA:/! ; l-^Jt a whole le^ee was in the re- 
ii^^um^ui y4V\Ufm 'w^AUn^ for the monarch, — so maay 
^/^''/f'-cyv/fij f'yl/T^J, v> rnany Cecilians w:th their badges, 
i\ni\ I w;*:» fT;^ly U$ nhnnk into a noneudtr. instead of 
ff^Wuii, uty^M \iy my hte yrmXtgt superior to aO. E^ierr 
\t^f^m «|/j>^ar^d t/> U\m a? we made our way. Bat for 
ttll Umj *\mi¥fr I hcj^rd him whisper, '* Vou have done 



" YOU ARE ALL MUSia' 285 

with me what no one ever did yet ; and oh ! I do thank 
you for being so kind to the foolish child. But come 
with me, that I may thank you elsewhere." 

" I would rather stay, sir. Here is my place, and I 
went out of my place to do you that little service of 
which it is out of the question to speak." 

"You must not be proud. Is it too proud to be 
thanked, then?" 

With the gentlest grace, he held out to her the single 
jasmine blossom. " See, no tear has dropped upon it. 
Will you take its last sigh ? " 

She drew it down into her hand, and, almost as airily 
as he moved, glided in among the crowd, which soon 
divided us from her. 

Seraphael himself sighed so very softly that none could 
have Jieard it ; but I saw it part his lips and heave his 
breast. 

" She does not care for me, you see," he said, in a 
sweet, half pettish manner, as we left the pavilion. 

" Oh ! sir, because she does not come with you ? 
That is the very reason, because she cares so much." 

" How do you make that out?" 

" I remember the day I brought you that water, sir, 
how I was afraid to stay, although I would have given 
everything to stay and look at your face; and I ran 
away so fast because of that." 

" Oh, Carlomein, hush 1 or you must make me vain. 
I wonder very much why you do like me ; but, pray, let 
it be so." 

" Like you ! " I exclaimed, as we moved along the 
corridor, " you are all music, — you must be ; for I 
knew it before I had heard you play." 

"They do say so. I wonder whether it is true," said 
he, laughing a bright, sudden laugh, as brightly sound- 



288 CIfARL.r.S Al'CHESTEJL 

Ac th« jt:erjinc«: oc t.ii:i small white fib I was almost 
in fits ; b»it h« atill went oa, — 

** I know I ir»ave done very wroag^ and I was an idle 
fjojr to tempt him , but you yoarself could not help play- 
jnif triar.t to-<Iay. And, dearest master^** — here his 
sw^et, *weet '-oire was retrieved from the airy gayety, 
— " flo let me come back with you to-day, and have 
a story- telling- Vou have not told me a story for a 
sad long lime.** 

'* if you come back. Chevalier, and if we are to get 
fjack (jeforc bed-time, I would have you go along and 
rest, if you ran, until I s'nall be free \ for I shall never 
empty my hands while you are by." 

Aronach did not say " thou " here, I noticed, and his 
voice w«i3 even courteous, though he still preserved his 
statclincss. Like a boy, indeed, Seraphael laid hold of 
my arm and pulled me from the room again. I cannot 
cxi)re»s the manly indignation of the worthies we left in 
tiierc at such sportiveness. They all stood firm, and in 
truth they were all older, both in Ixxly and soul, than 
wc. Hut no sooner were we outside than he began to 
laugh, and he laughed so that he had to lean against the 
wall. I laughed too ; it was a most contagious spelL 

*' Now, CarV* he said, *' very Carlomein ! we will 
make a tour of discovery. 1 declare I don't know where 
1 am, and am afraid to find myself in the young ladies' 
])edrooms. But I want to see how things are carried on 
here." 

We turned this way and that way, he running down 
all the passages and trying the very doors; but these 
were all locked. 

" Oh 1 " he exclaimed, vivaciously, " they are, I sup- 
pose, too fine ; " and then we explored farther. One 
end of the corridor was screened by a large oaken door 



A DESERT-LOOKING ROOM, 289 

from another range of rooms, and not without difficulty 
we effected an entrance, for the key, although in the 
lock, was rusty, and no joke to turn. Here, again, were 
doors, right and left , here also all was hidden under 
lock and key that they might be supposed to contain ; 
but we did at last discover a curious hole at the end, 
which we did not take for a room until we came inside, 
— having opened the door, which was latched, and not 
especially convenient. However, before we advanced 
I had ventured, " Sir, perhaps some one is in there, as 
it is not fastened up." 

" I shall not kill them, I suppose," he replied, with a 
curious eagerness. Then with the old sweetness, " You 
are very right, I will knock; but I know it will be 
knocking to nobody." 

He had then touched the panel with his delicate 

knuckles ; no voice had answered, and with a mirthful 

look he lifted the latch and we both entered. It was a 

sight that surprised me ; for a most desolate prison-cell 

could not have been darker. The window ought not to 

be so named ; for it let in no light, only shade, through 

its lack-lustrous green glass. There was no furniture at 

all, except a very narrow bed, — looking harder than Len- 

hart Davy's, but wearing none of that air of his. There 

was a closet, as I managed to discover in a niche, but 

no chest, no stove ; in fact, there was nothing suggestive 

at all, except one solitary picture, and that hung above 

the bed and looked down into it, as it were, to protect 

and bless. I felt I know not how when I saw it then 

and there ; for it was — what picture do you think? A 

copy of the very musical cherub I had met with upon 

Aronach's wreath-hung walls. It was fresher, newer, in 

this instance, but it had no gold or carven frame ; it was 

bound at its edge with fair blue ribbon only, beautifully 
VOL. I.— 19 



290 CHARLES AUCIIESTER. 

stitched, and suspended by it toa Above the gracefol 
tie was twisted one long branch of lately- gathered linden 
blossom, which looked itself sufficient to give an air of 
heaven to the close littk cell; it was even as Bowers 
upon a tomb, — those sighs and smiles of immortality 
where the mortal has passed forever! 

'* Oh, sir ! " I said, and I turned to him, — for I knew 
his eyes were attracted thither, — " oh, sir I do you know 
whose portrait that is? For my master has it, and I never 
dared to ask him ; and the others do not know." 

" It is a picture of the little boy who played truant 
and tempted another little boy to play truant too." 

And then, as he replied, I wondered I had not 
thought of such a possibility ; for looking from one to 
the other, I could not now but trace a certain definite 
resemblance between those floating baby ringlets and the 
profuse dark curb wherein the elder's strength almost 
seemed to hide, — so small and infinitely spiritual was 
he in his incomparable organization. 

*' Now, sir, do come and rest a little while before we 

go." 

He was standing abstractedly by that narrow bed, and 
looked as sad, as troubled, as in the impending thunder- 
cloud ; but he rallied just as suddenly. 

" Yes, yes ; we had better go, or she might come." 

I could not reply, for this singular prescience 
daunted me, — how could he tell it was her very room ? 
But when we came into the corridor, I beheld, by the 
noonday brightness, which was not banished thence, 
that there was a kind of moist light in his eyes, not 
tears, but as the tearful glimmer of some blue distance 
when rain is falling upon those hills. 

We threaded our way downstairs again, — for he 
seemed quite unwilling to explore farther, — and I woh- 



AN INVITATION. 29 1 

dered where he would lead me next, when we met 
Milans-Andre in the hall. The Chevalier blushed even 
as an angry virgin on beholding him, but still met him 
cordially as before. 

" Where are you staying, Chevalier? At the Fiirstin 
Haus ? " 

" I am not staying here at all. I am going back to 
Lorbeerstadt to sleep, and to-morrow to Altenweg, and 
then to many places for many days." 

" Oh ! I thought you would have supped with me, 
and I could have a little initiated you. But if you are 
really returning to Lorbeerstadt, pray use my carriage, 
which is waiting in the yard." 

"You are only too amiable, my dear Andr^. We 
shall use it with the greatest pleasure." 

Oh ! how black did Andr6 look when Seraphael laid 
that small, delicate stress upon the " we ; " for I knew 
the invitation intended his colleague, and included no 
one else. But the other evidently took it all for granted ; 
and again thanking him with exquisite gayety, ran out 
into the court-yard, and cried to me to come and see 
the carriage. 

"I have a little coach myself," he said to me and 
also to Andr^, who was lounging behind along with us ; 
" but it is a toy compared with yours, and I wonder I 
did not put it into my pocket, it is so small, — only 
large enough for thee and me, Carlomein." 

" Why, Seraphael, you are dreaming. There are no 
such equipages in all Vienna as your father's and 
mother's." 

" They are not mine, you see ; and if I drove such, I 
should look like a sparrow in a hencoop. Oh, Carlo- 
mein, what quantities of sparrows there are in London I 
Do they live upon the smuts? " 



292 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

At this instant the carriage, whose driver Andre had 
beckoned to draw up, approached; and then. we both 
ran to fetch Aronach, who came out very grumbling, for 
the entry in the long book was scarcely dry ; and he 
saluted nobody, but marched after us like a person sud- 
denly wound up, putting himself heavily into the car- 
riage, which he did not notice in the least. It was an 
open carriage, Paris-built (as I now know), and so lux- 
uriously lined as not to be very fit for an expedition in 
any but halcyon weather. As for Seraphael, he Hung 
himself upon the seat as a cowslip ball upon the grass, 
and scarcely shook the light springs ; and as I followed 
him, he made a profound bow to the owner of the equi- 
page, who, disconsolately enough, still stood within the 
porch. 

'* Now, I do enjoy this, Carlomein ! I cannot help 
loving to be saucy to Andr^, — good, excellent, and 
wonderful as he is." 

I looked to find whether he was in earnest. But I 
could not tell, for his eyes were grave, and the lips at 
rest. But Aronach gave a growl, though mildly, — as 
the lion might growl in the day when a little child shall 
lead him. 

" You have not conquered that weakness yet, and, I 
prophesy, never will." 

" What weakness, master? " But he faltered, even as 
a little child. 

" To excuse fools and fondle slaves." 

" Oh, my master, do not scold me I " and he cov- 
ered his eyes with his little blue-veined hands. " It is 
so sad to be a fool or a slave that we should do all for 
such we can do, especially if we are not so ourselves. I 
think myself right there." 

His pleading tone here modulated into the still 



A PICTURE I OFTEN RECALL. 293 

authority I had noticed once or twice, and Aronach 
gave a smile in reply, which was the motion of the 
raptured look I had noticed during the improvisation. 

" Thou teachest yet, then, out of thy vocation. But 
thou art no more than thou ever hast been, — too much 
for thy old master. And as wrens fly faster and creep 
stealthier than owls, so art thou already whole heavens 
beyond me." 

But with tender scomfulness, Seraphael put out his 
hand in deprecation, and throwing back his hair, buried 
his head in the cushion of the carriage and shut his 
eyes. Nor did he again open them until we entered 
our little town. 

I need scarcely say I watched him ; and often, as in a 
glassy mirror, I see that face again upturned to the light, 
— too beautiful to require any shadow, or to seek it, — 
see again the dazzling day draw forth its lustrous sym- 
metry, while ever the soft wind tried to lift those deep 
locks from the lucid temples, but tried in vain ; what T 
am unable to picture to myself in so recalling being the 
ever restless smile that played and fainted over the lips, 
while the closed eyes were feeding upon the splendors 
of the Secret. I shall never forget either, though, how 
they opened ; and he came, as it were, to his childlike 
self again as the light carriage — light indeed for Ger- 
many — dashed round the Kell Platz, where its ponder- 
ous contemporaneous contradictions were ranged, and 
took the fountain square in an unwonted sweep. Then 
he sat forward and watched with the greatest eagerness, 
and he sprang out almost before we stopped. 

**I think Carl and I could save you these stairs, 
master mine," he exclaimed. *' Let us carry you up 
between us ! " 

But what do you think was the reply? Seraphael had 



254 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

Spoken in his gleeful voice. But Aronach wore his 
gravest frown as he turned and pounced suddenly upon 
the other, — whipping him up in his anns. and hoisting 
him to his shoulder, then speeding up the staircase with 
his guest as if the weight were no greater than a flower 
or a bird I I could not stir some moments from aston- 
ishment and alarm, for I had instantaneous impressions 
of Seraphael flying over the balusters; but presently, 
when his laugh came ringing down, — and I realized it 
to l>e the laugh of one almost beside himself with fun, 
— I flew after them, and found them on the dark land- 
ing at the foot of our own flight Seraphael was now 
upon his feet, and I quite appreciated the delicate policy 
of the old head here. He said in a moment, when his 
breath was steady, — 

" Now, if they offer to chair thee again at the Quartz- 
may ne Festival, and thou tumest giddy-pate, send for 
me!" 

" I certainly will, if they offer such an honor ; but 
once is quite enough, and they will not do it again." 

'* Why not?" 

" Because I fell into the river, and was picked up by 
a fisherman ; and desiring to know my character after I 
was dead, I made him cover me with his nets and row 
me down to Carstein, quite three miles. There I 
supped with him, and slept too, and the next morning 
heard that I was drowned." 

" Oh ! one knows that history, which found its way 
into a certain paper among the lies, and was published 
in illustration of the eccentricities of genius." 

Aronach said this very cross, — I wondered whether 
it was with the Press, or his pupil ; but if it were with 
the latter, he only enjoyed it the more. 

Then Aronach bade me conduct his guest into the 



A SUMPTUOUS BANQUET. 295 

organ-room, while he himself put a period to those 
howlings of the immured ones which yet conscientiously 
asserted themselves. We waited a few moments up- 
stairs, and then Aronach carried off the Chevalier to his 
own room, — a sacred region I had never approached, 
and which I could only suppose to exist. I then rushed 
to mine, and was so long in collecting my senses that 
Starwood came to bid me to supper. I did not detain 
him then, though I had so much to say ; but I observed 
that he had his Sunday coat on, — a little blue frock, 
braided; and I remembered that I ought to have as- 
sumed my own. Still, my wardrobe was in such perfect 
order (thanks to Clo) that my own week coat was more 
respectable than many other boys' Sunday ones; and 
though I have the instinct of personal cleanliness very 
strong, I cannot say I like to look smart. 

When I reached our parlor, I was quite dazzled. 
There was a sumptuous banquet, as I took it, arranged 
upon a cloth, the fineness and whiteness of which so far 
transcended our daily style that I immediately appre- 
hended it had proceeded from the secret hoards in that 
wonderful closet of Aronach's. The tall glasses were 
interspersed with silver flagons, and the usual gamish- 
ings varied by all kinds of fruits and flowers, which 
appeared to have sprung from a magic touch or two 
of that novel magic presence. For the rest, there were 
delicious milk porridge on our accounts, and honey and 
butter, and I noticed those long-necked bottles, one like 
which Santonio had emptied, and which I had never 
seen upon that table since; for Aronach was very 
frugal, and taught us to be so. I was so from taste 
and by habit, but Iskar would have liked to gorge him- 
self with dainties, I used to think. When I saw this last 
seated at the table I was highly indignant, for he. had 



296 CHARLES A UC HESTER, 

set his stool by Seraphael's chair. He had fished from 
his marine store of clothes a crumpled white-silk waist- 
coat, over which he had invested himself with a tarn- 
ished silver watch-chain. But I would not, if I could, 
recall his audacious manner of gazing over everything 
upon the table and everybody in the room, with those 
legs of his stretched out for any one to stumble over, or 
rather on purpose to make me stumble. I knew this 
very well, and avoided him by placing my stool on the 
opposite edge of the board, where I could still look 
into the eyes I loved if I raised my own. 

This insignificant episode will prove that Iskar had 
not grown in my good graces, nor had I acquainted 
myself better with him than on the first night of my 
arrival. I knew him not, but I knew of him, for 
every voice in the house was against him ; and he gave 
promise of no small power upon his instrument, together 
with small promise of musical or mental excellence, as 
all he did was correct to caricature and inimitably me- 
chanical. Vain as he was of his playing, his vanity had 
small scope on that score under that quiet roof shadow, 
so it spent itself upon his person, which was certainly 
elegant, if vulgar. I am not clear but that one of these 
personal attractions always infers the other. But why I 
mention Iskar is that I may be permitted to recall the 
expressions with which our master's guest regarded him. 
It was a grieved, yet curious glance, with that child-like 
scrutiny of what is not true all abashing to the false, 
unless the false has lost all child-likeness. Iskar must, 
I suppose, have lost it, for he was not the least abashed, 
and was really going to begin upon his porridge be- 
fore we had all sat down, if Aronach had not awfully, 
but serenely, rebuked him. Little Starwood, by my 
side, looked as fair and as pretty as ever, rather more 



A DEXTEROUS FEAT, 29/ 

shy than usual Seraphael, now seated, looked round 
with that exquisitely sweet politeness I have never met 
with but in him, and asked us each whether we would 
eat some honey, for he had the honey-pot before him. 
I had some, of course, for the pleasure of being helped 
by him, and he dropped it into my milk in a gold flow- 
ing stream, smiHng as he did so. It was so we always 
ate honey at Aronach's, and it is so I eat it to this day. 
Little Star put out his bowl loo. Oh ! those great 
heavy wooden bowls I it was just too much for him, 
and he let it slip. Aronach was rousing to thunder 
upon him, and I felt as if the ceiling were coming down 
(for I knew he was angry on account of that guest of 
his) , when we heard that voice in its clear authority, — 
" Dear Aronach, do nothing ! the milk is not spoiled." 
And turning all of us together, we saw that he had 
caught the bowl on his outstretched hands, and that not 
a drop had fallen. I mention it as illustrative of that 
miraculous organization in which intent and action 
were simultaneous, the motions of whose will it seemed 
impossible to retard or anticipate. Even Iskar looked 
astonished at this feat ; but he had not long to wonder, 
for Aronach sternly commended us to great haste in the 
disposal of our supper. 

I needed not urging, for it was natural to feel that the 
master and his master must wish to be alone, — indeed, 
I should have been thankful to escape eating, though I 
was very hungry, that I might not be in the way ; but 
directly I took pains to do away with what I had before 
me, I was forbidden by Aronach to ** bolt." 

I lay awake many hours in a vague excitement of 
imaginary organ sounds welling up to heaven from 
heaven's under-springs. I languished in a romantic 
vision of that face, surrounded with cloud-angels, itself 



298 CHARLES A (/CHESTER. 

their out-shining light I waited to hear his footsteps 
up)on the stairs when he should at length depart ; but so 
soft was that departing motion that even I, listening with 
my whole existence, heard it not, nor heard anything to 
remind my heart-silence that he liad come and gone. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

I THINK I can relate nothing else of that softest 
month of summer, nor of sultry June. It was not 
until the last week I was to change my quarters ; but 
long as it seemed in coming, it came when I was hardly 
prepared for the transfer. Aronach returned to his 
stricter self again after that supper, but I felt certain 
he had heard a great deal after we had left the table, as 
an expression of softer character forsook not his eyes 
and smile for many days. I could not discover whether 
anything had passed concerning Starwood, who re- 
mained my chief anxiety, as I felt if I left him there 
alone, he would not get on at all. Iskar and I pre- 
served our mutual distance, though I would fain have 
been more often with him, for I wanted to make hina 
out. He practised harder than ever, and hardly took 
time to eat and drink, and only on Sundays a great 
while to dress. He was always very jauntily put to- 
gether when we set out to church, and looked like a 
French manikin. But for his upper lip and the shallow 
width of his forehead, I thought him very handsome, 
while, yet so young, he was so ; but his charm consisted 
for me in his being unapproachable, and as I thought, 
mysterious. 

We saw about as little of each other as it was possible 
to see, living in the same house and dining in the same 
room ; but we never talked at meals, we had no time. 



300 CHARLES AUCUESTER, 

It is but fair to allow myself an allusion to my violin, 
as it was becoming a very essential feature in my history. 
With eight hours' practice a day I had made some solid 
progress ; but it did not convict me of itself yet, as I 
was not allowed to play, only to acquaint myself with 
the anatomy of special compositions, as exercises in 
theory. Iskar played so easily, and gave such an air of 
playing to practice, that it never occurred to me I was 
getting on, though it was so, as I found in time. At this 
era I hated the violin, just as pianoforte students hate 
the pianoforte during the period of apprenticeship to 
mechanism. I hated the sound that saluted me morn- 
ing, noon, and night; I shrank from it ever unaccus- 
tomed, for the penetralia of my brain could never be 
rendered less susceptible by piercing and -searching its 
recesses. I believe my musical perception was as sensi- 
tive as ever, all through this epidemic dislike, but I felt 
myself personally very musically indisposed. I could 
completely dissociate my ideal impression of that I 
loved from my absolute experience of what I served. 
I was patient, because waiting ; content, because faith- 
ful; and I pleased myself albeit with reflecting that 
my violin — my own property, my very own — had a 
very different soul from that thing I handled and tor- 
tured every day, from which the soul had long since 
fled. For all the creators of musical forms have not 
power to place in them the soul that lives for ages, and 
a little wear and tear separates the soul from the body. 
As for my Amati, I knew its race so pure that I feared 
for it no premature decay. In its dark box I hoped it 
was at least not unhappy, but I dearly longed for a sight 
of it, and had I dared, I would have crept into the 
closet, but that whenever it was unlocked I was locked 
up. The days flew, though they seemed to me so long. 



A tMte-A-tMte, 301 

as ever in summer ; and I felt how ravishing must the 
summer be without the town. I wearied after it ; and 
although the features of German scenery are quite with- 
out a certain bloom I have only found in England, they 
have some mystic beauty of their own unspeakably 
more touching ; and as I lived then, all life was a fairy- 
tale book, with half the leaves uncut. I was ever 
dreaming, but healthfully, — the dreams forgotten as 
soon as dreamed; so it chanced that I can tell you 
nothing of all I learned or felt, except what was tangi- 
bly and wakingly presented to myself. I remember, 
however, more than distinctly all that happened the 
last evening I passed in that secluded house, to my so- 
journ in which I owe all the benisons bestowed upon 
my after artist life. We had supped at our usual hour, 
but when I arose and advanced to salute Aronach as 
usual, and sighed to see how bright the sun was still 
upon everything without and within, he whispered in my 
ear, — an attention he had never before paid me, — 
'* Stay up by me until the other two are off; for I wish 
to speak to thee and to give thee some advice." 

Iskar saw him whisper, and looked very black because 
he could not hear; but Aronach waved him out, and 
bade me shut the door upon him and Starwood. I 
trembled then, for I was not used to be along with him 
t^te-h'tHe; we usually had a third party present in the 
company of Marpurg or Albrechtsberger.^ He went into 
the closet first, and rummaged a few minutes, and then 
returning, appeared laden with a bottle of wine and my 
long hid fiddle-case. Oh, how I flew to relieve him of 
it ! But he bade me again sit down, while he went back 
into the closet and rummaged again; this time for a 

1 Famous theorists and contrapuntists of the eighteenth cen- 
tury ; the latter was the teacher of Beetho^n. 



302 CHARLES AUCIJESTER. 

couple of glasses and two or three curious jars, rich 
china, and of a beautiful form. He uncorked the bottle 
and poured me, as I expected, a glass of wine. 

It was not the wine that agitated me, but the rarity of 
the attention, so much so that I choked instead of wish- 
ing him liis health, as I ought to have done. But he 
was quite unmoved at my excitation, and leaned back 
to pour glass after glass down his own throat. I was so 
unused to wine that the sip I took exliilarated me, 
though it was the slightest wine one can imbibe for such 
purpose. And then he uncovered the odd gay jars, and 
helped me profusely to the exquisite preserves they con- 
tained. They were so luscious and delicate that they 
reminded me of P2den fruits : and almost before mv 
wonder had shaped itself into form, certainly before it 
could have betrayed itself in my countenance, Aronach 
began to speak, — 

" 'J'hey pique thee, no doubt, and not only thy palate, 
for thou wast ever curious. They come from him of 
whom thou hast never spoken since thy hoHday." 

" Everything comes from him, I think, sir." 

" No, only the good, not the evil nor the negative ; 
and it is on this point 1 would advise thee, for thou art 
as inconsiderate as a fledgling turned out of the nest, 
and art ware of nothing." 

" Pray advise me, sir," I said, " and I shall be glad 
that I am inconsiderate, to be advised by you." 

I looked at him, and was surprised that a deep 
seriousness overshadowed the constant gravity, — which 
was as if one entered from the twilight a still more 
sombre wood. 

" I intend to advise thee because thou art ignorant, 
though pure ; untaught, yet not weak. I would not ad- 
vise thy compeers, — one is too young, the other too 
old." 



A PAPER. 303 

*^ Iskar too old ! " I exclaimed. 

**Iskar was never a child; whatever thou couldst 
teach him would only ripen his follies, already too 
forward. He belongs to the other world." 

*' There are two worlds then in music," I thought ; for 
it had been ever a favorite notion of my own, but I did 
not say so, I was watching him. He took from the 
breast pocket of his coat — that long brown coat — a 
little leather book, rolled up like a parchment ; this he 
opened, and unfolded a paper that had lain in the 
curves, and yet curled round unsubmissive to his fingers. 
He deliberately bent it back, and held it a moment or 
two, while his eyes gathered light in their fixed gaze 
upon what he clasped, then smoothed it to its old shape 
with his palm, and putting on his horn set eye-glasses, 
which lent him an owl-like reverendness, he began to 
read to me. And as I have that little paper still, and 
as, if not sweet, it is very short, I shall transcribe it here 
and now : — 

" When thou hearest the folks prate about art, be cer- 
tain thou art never tempted to make friends there ; for 
if they be wise in any other respect, they are fools in 
this, that they know not when to keep silence and how. 
For art consists not in any of its representatives, and 
is of itself alone. To interpret it aright we must let it 
make its own way, and those who talk about it gainsay 
its true impressions, which alone remain in the bosom 
that is single and serene. If thou markest well, thou 
wilt find how few of those who make a subsistence 
out of music realize its full significance ; for they are 
too busy to recall that they live for it, and not by it, 
even though it brings them bread. And just as few are 
those who set apart their musical life from all ambition, 
even honorable, — for ambition is of this earth alone, and 



n ^ lii^^i^r^ v»srn;n^ t^niti inxsKsa. Jac: houses'. 3 
rw^iqjivi* fwflf 5«»5 nrjaruiJc: u tie irrcar if :tic: 
ir3rt4t he ^ar hAiie I- li<t rarjirtfc — :tXE: isr wm 
;0»£« It v^ieni^e -hii inrrTffgntnbir- Tirarr-, — ixc: 

^ rti' i^;irf \m» Ut:. ^uttututr wtUanx, smnnim^ vrer 
^f^x^ji^^f^ itu^f^TUL. wati tti w'luer ti ne jnirrmi^ Ji iif^ 

^Aur « ^•y^ V5We T tsa?-* testrt ^isac if ±e -vaEtic^ 

^>»*^ '/ J!^></t ^^^O**^ •'^'^ ^*^ ^J*^ Pratillv. IXpSCL SHL 3=31. 

*^ /.v;nF ^ij^nt :i»vtt ^s^vt ^lix^r: — n. sedson, Z iir'HU 

I// -/*'>;*j ^vf*r*^,-j Vr^ th*tj yrsz% vk rrasa art:, oiar 

leadinz- 



h^-'f^f M//*$i$/nh thyv:H t/> lo^ for fanhs or fedings dil^ 
t^fiufC fffffn iUm f/wn m thofc ict o^cr thee It b 
/ ^tif$Ut ihfU utmy a mtuitnX of art has lost groand in this 
MuiK^fU^, j iitf fffit^iimt% the student, either fixnii nat- 
Mf«l ff^M^ffAiii^m, (ff h(nt\ the vernal innocence of youth, 
will \m OMf4»lri(;|Hn^ hi* instructors in his grand inten- 
flofi«, Mu\ «ivln« hlrnsclf up U) them will be losing the 
\ift'^m\ )ioMf« In Ihr ftir that should be informing them- 
>»*<lvp», Willi *iff«<Iy \ir(i\^rt^M%f in the strictest mechanical 
< nM»»«<i Novur till Ihou haut mastered tvcry conceiva- 



ARQXACWS COCXSEL. 305 

ble difficultVy dream of prodncmg the most distant 
musical effect. 

** But, secondly, lest thine enthusiasm should perish 
of starvation under this mechanical pressure, keep thy 
wits awake to contemplate every artist and token of 
art diat come between thee and daylight And the 
more thou busiest thyself in mechanical preparation, 
the more leisure thou shalt discover so to observe ; 
the more sorene and brilliant shall thy imagination find 
itself — a dear sky filled widi the sunshine of that en- 
thusiasm which spreads itself over every object in earth 
and heaven. 

" Again, of music, or the tone-art, as thou hast heard 
me name it, never let thy conception cease. Never 
believe thou hast adopted the trammels of a pursuit 
bounded by progress because thine own progress 
bounds thine own pursuit. In despair at thy slow in- 
duction, — be it slow as it must be gradual, — doubt 
not that it is into a divine and immeasurable realm thou 
shalt at length be admitted ; and if tlie ethereal souls of 
the masters gone before thee have thirsted after the in- 
finite, even in such immeasurable space, recall thyself, 
and bow contented that thou hast this in common with 
those above thee, — the insatiable presentment of futu- 
rity with which the Creator has chosen to endow the 
choicest of his gifts, — the gift in its perfection granted 
ever to the choicest, the rarest of the race." 

" And that is why it is granted to the Hebrew nation, 

— why they all possess it like a right ! " I cried, almost 

without consciousness of having spoken. But Aronach 

answered not ; he only slightly, with the least motion, 

leaned his head so that the silver of his beard trembled, 

and a sort of tremor agitated his brow, that I observed 

not in his voice as he resumed. 
VOL. I. — 20 



306 CHARLES AUC HESTER. 

" Thou art young, and mayest possibly excel early, as 
a mechanical performer. I need not urge thee to prune 
the exuberance of thy fancy and to bind thy taste — 
by nature delicate — to the pure, strong models whose 
names are, at present, to thee their only revelation. 
For the scapegrace who figures in thy daily calendar as 
so magnificently thy superior, will ever stand thee in- 
stead of a warning or ominous repulsion, so long as thy 
style is forming; and when formed, that style itself 
shall fence thee alike with natural and artful antipathy 
against the school he serves, that confesses to no restric- 
tion, no, not the restraint of rule, and is the servant of 
its own caprice. 

" Thou shalt find that many who profess the art, con- 
fess not to that which they yet endure, — a sort of 
shame in their profession, as if they should ennoble it^ 
and not it them. Such professors thou shalt ever dis- 
cover are slaves, not sons; then: excellence as per- 
formers owing to the accidental culture of their 
imitative instinct ; and they are the ripieni of the uni- 
versal orchestra, whose chief doth appear but once in 
every age. 

" Thou shalt be set on to study by thine instructors, 
and, as I before hinted, wilt ever repose upon their di- 
rection. But in applying to the works they select for 
thine edification, whether theoretic or practical, en- 
deavor to disabuse thyself of all thy previous impres- 
sions and prepossessions of any author whatsoever, and 
to absorb thyself in the contemplation of that alone 
thou busiest thyself upon. 

" Thus alone shall thine intelligence explore all styles, 
and so separate each fi*om each as finally to draw the 
exact conclusion from thine own temperament and 
taste of that to which thou dost essentially incline. 



ARONACWS COUNSEL. 307 

" In treating of music specifically, remember not to 
confound its elements. As in ancient m)rthology many 
religious seeds were sown, and golden symbols scattered, 
so may we apply its enforcing fables where the new wis- 
dom denies us utterance, and the nearer towards the 
expression of the actual than if we observed the literal 
forms of speech. Thus ever remembering that as the 
*aorasia' was a word signifying the invisibility of the 
gods, and the ' avatar * their incarnation, so is time the 
aorasia of music the god-like, and tone its avatar. 

" Then, in timej shalt thou realize that in which the 
existence of music as infallibly consists as in its mani- 
festation, ioney and thine understanding shall become 
invested with the true nature of rhythm^ which alike 
doth exist between time and tone, seeming to con- 
nect in spiritual dependence the one with the other 
inseparably. 

" In devoting thine energies to the works of art in 
ages behind thine own, thou shalt never be liable to de- 
press thy consciousness of those which are meritorious 
with thee, and yet to come before thee. For thou wilt 
learn that to follow the supreme of art with innocence 
and wisdom was ever allotted to the few whose labors 
yet endure ; while as to the many whose high-flown per- 
fections in their day seduced the admiration of the 
myriads to the neglect of the few, except by few, find 
we nothing of them at present, but the names alone of 
their operas, or the mention of then: having been, and 
being now no more. And this is while the few are 
growing and expanding their fame, as the generations 
succeed, ever among the few of every generation, but 
yet betokening in that still, secluded renown, the im- 
mortal purpose for which they wrote and died not. 

" Be assured that in all works that have endured there 



3Ut^ CJIAKLL^ AL'CHESTJ^R. 

i:. aumctiiu^; uf tiif iiature of truth ; therefore acquaint 
Iuvm:!! Willi uL. trvtrr resen'ing the right to liouor with 
^Kxuiuf iii\«ii^aiion tuost works in which tiie atiriinr 
u> y *vi!::ir. iiuicl upui. iorcefui imagination inriTnatfii: 
li:*f. si«. wtyit witi: lilt direct intention to iliiistiate he 
u'. tj'j'. urjij*. ijr :ii* iD'.t of it. bu: in the fear of is 
i«-\i-,i, ''':iub av;)iy tinijelf to the compositians of 
Jill'.- »■.•:::;.. v" rui'-vL of Aiessandro Scarlatti, and tiie 
i!i,ic:ii'.!^;ii.'i*' sJ-w»r*:IL ; thub iend th}'self to the mastcF- 
y^K'^:t- 'S\ J-er^ulesl. of M'jzart, and Handel ; thus ^^^nn 
*:.:. \\\\\xK eir.irr vjul u^ion the mipit and majesty of 
JvvL- >.■ vits*.:i::' iiiivL AI others in OTder. but th^e in 
c :*».-' . \,\:i\, \'\vt :i:s: ;:yaeraiisiimo. uniil thou has: ieaznt 

y^K v<:-.ii»j';. i::i;I sitrv»rd. and :he summer erening-gold 
',.'v***i*x. ".". l;^ rt ^Hii. Ths: sume rich peam creeping 
.-■. . ':x i-*- '.-.rt '..•:-:•; s:uri^t lbs: nlied the heaven :t t-anlt 
b^vv>;C V.' •-vjci: UK: triui s'jiemn ecsrasr aiie with his 
¥v-"-^^- M't T>2< IV rim*: 1;^ ibc pepei, and had nearhr 
\^f:i^i r: W:j^ 1 csr^c w ihenk him : bm as he held it 
ovi, *.*.c I '^.'i'>i*-rL 1'^ I £Js- kissed the irarr of his not 
^.'.♦•-:,A,«tC "u^iri. Siix: be did n:;*: wiibdrsw iL Then I 
bfc-'i, •■ Mv c.r^ v^j.>:tr. r::T dssr, desr fierr Aronarh. is 

"1: -> xr !:■;%:-' b? s;2?ir*red ; ~ sud periisps. as 
tbvrt ^ !.:tl; ''vt -« t.b'v''':: vCz d:;£trs: i: ziCTe conTenienih- 

</r I )ivv*J/I :x;C 9<^ tbtrt Lsws^ sod impIxsL ch" thoa 

" I ^[y^i*'A l/Afc to krx^w, sir, whether those are tbc 
ijcrt of rjl'js y^x^i ^av^ tae Che^'iiier Serapbael when 

he WHS a Ltd*: ix;y ? '^ 

'^ Noy uo ; tbcy sjx ooC such as I gave him, be 

ccrtiiii." 



ARONACH'S STORY, 3C9 

"I thought not, perhaps. Oh, sir, how very sur- 
prising he must have been when he was so young and 
Httle ! " 

" He did not rudely declaim, thou mayest imagine, 
at eight years old, and his voice was so modest to 
strangers that it was hard to make' him heard at all, — 
this it was that made me set no laws before him." 

" How then, sir, did you teach him ? '* was my bolder 
question. 

" He would discourse of music in its native tongue, 
when his small fingers conversed with the keys of his 
favorite harpsichord, so wondrously at home there, from 
the first time they felt themselves. And in still obedi- 
ence to the law of that inborn harmony that governed 
his soul, he would bend his curly pate over the score 
till all the color fell off his round cheek ; and his fore- 
head would work and frown with thoughts strong enough 
to make a strong man's brain quiver. I was severe with 
him to save my conscience ; but he ever outwitted me, 
nor could I give him enough to do, for he made play 
of work, and no light work of play. It was as if I 
should direct the south wind to blow in summer, or the 
sunbeams to make haste with the fruit. At length it 
came to such a pass — his calm attainment — that I gave 
him up to die ! He left off growing too, and there was 
of him so little that you would have thought him one the 
pleasant folk had changed at birth : bright enough were 
his eyes for such suspicion. So I clapped upon him 
one day as he was lying upon a bit of shade in my gar- 
den, his cap of velvet tumbled off, and the feather flying 
as you please, while over the score of Graun he had 
fallen fast asleep. When I came to him, I thought the 
little heart-strings had given way, to let him free alto- 
gether, he lay so still and heavy in his slumber, and 



310 CHARLES AUCHESTER. 

no breath came through his lips that I could see. So I 
took him up, never waking him, and laid him away in 
bed, and locked up every staved sheet that lay about, 
and every score and note-book, and shut the harpsi- 
chord j and when at last he awoke, I took him upon 
my knee, — for it was then he came to my house for his 
lessons, and I could do with him as I pleased. ' Now,* 
said I, ' thou hast been asleep over thy books, and I 
have carried them all away, for thou art lazy, and shalt 
see them never again, unless thou art content to do as I 
shall bid thee.' 

" Then he looked into my face with his kind child's 
eyes, and said, — 

" * I wish that thou wert my pupil, master ; for if so, 
I should show thee how I should like to be taught' 

" < Well, thou art now very comfortable on my knee, 
and mayest pull my watch-chain if thou wilt, and shalt 
also tell me the story of what thou shouldst teach thine 
old, grand pupil, — we will make a play of it.' 

" * I do not care to pull thy chain now, but I should 
like to watch thy face while I tell thee.* 

" So then. Master Carl, this elf stood upright on my 
knees, and spread out his arms, and laughed loud till 
the wet pearls shone ; and while I held his feet — for I 
thought he would fly away — says he to mock me, — 

" ' Now, Master Aronach, thou mayest go home and 
play with thy little sister at kings and queens, and never 
do any more lessons till thou art twelve years old ; for 
that is the time to be a man and do great things : and 
now thou art a poor baby, who cannot do anything but 
play and go to sleep. And all the big books are put 
away, and nobody is to bring them out again until 
thou art big and canst keep awake.' 

"Then I looked at him hard, to see whether he was 




ARONA CH'S STOR K 3 1 1 

Still mocking me ; but when I found he looked rather 
about to cry, I set him down, and took my hat, and 
walked out of my house to the lower ramparts. On the 
lower ramparts stood the fine house of his father, and I 
rang the bell quite free, and went boldly up the stairs. 
His mother was alone in her grand drawing-room, and 
I said that she might either come and fetch him away 
altogether, or let him stay with me and amuse himself 
as he cared for ; that I would not teach him for those 
years to come, as he had said. The stately lady was 
offended, and carried him off from me altogether ; and 
when he went he was very proud, and would not shed 
one tear, though he clung round my collar and whis- 
pered, elf that he was, — ' I shall come back when I 
am twelve. Hush ! master, hush ! ' " 

" And did he come back ? " I cried, no less in ecstasy 
at the story than at the confidence reposed in me. 

" All in good time — peace," said Aronach. " I 
never saw him again until the twenty-second morning of 
May, in the fourth year after his mother carried him off. 
I heard of the wonder-boy from every mouth, — how he 
was taken here, and flourished there, to show off; and 
petted and praised by the king; and I thought often 
how piteous was it thus to spoil him. On that very 
morning I was up betimes, and was writing a letter to 
an old friend of mine whose daughter was dead, when 
I heard feet like a fawn that was finding quick way up 
my dark stairs, and I stopped to listen. The door was 
burst open all in a moment, as if by the wind, and there 
he stood, in his little hat and feather and his gay new 
dress, bright as a birthday prince, with a huge lumber- 
ing flower-pot in his two little arms. He set that upon 
the floor and danced up to me directly, climbing upon 
my knees. * Will you take me back? For I am twelve, 



vjjj i/:A<hLi.i z : zr:^^'n.L 



*f 



iiTi'J tf^it vi. '.Xf*:7i; ligni- Vv'iac & mmnn: 

fcji"; triv:#t i^a::**, luuc ^^ af oi:^ I pmziei 
'^r»*,*;r. »•;:,'.:- viii rt:i a= 21.7 r^at : iiiir r 
vivWfV7t. 'XTT, 'jf :':it m'jm^c air : £ bt siiL 

" O:-, uir ; t*:I Hit 2l irti*:. initt mx^ vrua: zif ie 

\K*, yx^ ? V»':;2t did lit d'-^? " 

"iie V^id v^, whi lilt ^fiut iii::t prssef lzzzs: nnr 
'//lit, ''JViV- 'y:;trjt- ijvt:*:: rsasier. I wiiuil liX tiis j£7Ti 
j-jyt «t f-ryt, sj-jd r.ismri& n'Zi verr rrznd ; sht rerer 
.Vi*:bw:d v.it i'x a week- and I ntntr ci-sei hsr. I cid 
>e;»y>i^k w;tii //a-, tbcHL^ aijd tned t:* ?^^^^ ^kt. zad 
I^I^yed v*:iy bad, very iH and wcrild hardhr re^ a bar- 
So r/jarrtr/ia tvok it into Jkt bead to say thst jiw bad not 
ta'-^rxt zuK yrjyirh' ; and I ^*:w very wild, angry, — so 
h'.n ^ AtiLiA thai I Irjnst out, and ran ccrwnstaiis. and 
f^xjat no rr>ore for lesvjns five w^iole da}-5i. Then I 
t»eggtd her yji<ion, and she sent for Herr H-jramel to 
tea<.h me. I played my very best to Herr Hummel, 
mas>ter mine ! ' 

"'I daresay he did,' thought I, 'the nanghty one! 
the elf ! ^ Iherc he lay back with his pale face, and all 
the mischief in his starry ejes. 

" ' And Herr Hiimmel/ my leveling went on, parsing 
his lips, * said he could not teach me to play, but per- 
haps he could teach me to write. So I wrote for him 
ever so many pages, and he could not read them, for I 
wrote so small, so small ; and Herr Htimmel has such 
very weak eyes ! * 



ARONACH'S STORY. 313 

" Oh ! how naughty he looked, lying across my 
knees ! 

" * And then/ he prattled, ' mamma set herself to look 
for somebody very new and great ; and she picked up 
Monsieur Milans-Andr^, who is a very young master, 
only nineteen years old ; and mamma says he is a great 
genius. Now, as for me, dear master, I don't know 
what a great genius is ; but if Monsieur Andr^ be one, 
ihou art not one, nor I.' 

" Oh, the haughty one ! still prattling on, — 

" * I did take pains, and put myself back, that he 
might show me over again what you, dear master, had 
taught me, so that I never forget, and could not forget, 
if I tried ; and in a year I told mamma I would never 
touch the harpsichord again if she did not promise I 
should come back to you again. She said she could n't 
promise, and, master, I never did again touch the harp- 
sichord, but instead, I learned what was better, to play 
on Monsieur Andre's grand pianoforte ! * 

" ' And how didst thou admire that, eh ? * I asked, 
rather curious about the matter. 

" * Oh ! it is very comfortable ; I feel quite clear 
about it, and have written for it some things. But 
Monsieur Andr^ is to go a tour, so he told mamma 
yesterday, and this morning before he came I ran 
away, and I am returned to you, and have brought my 
tree to keep my birthday with you. And, master mine, 
I won't go back again ! ' 

" Before I could answer him, as I expected, comes a 
pull at the bell to draw the house down, and up the 
stairs creaks Rathsherr Seraphael, the father, a mighty 
good looking and very grand man. He takes a seat, 
and looks queer and awful. But the little one, quitting 
me, dances round and round his chair and kisses away 
that frown. 



' mj^ssr scxft ^issncnu j*^* tinsL nmac ^spc 
i% tfatr r an -hirut iHiv mn. 



3ut, "i-'TT iiiist "iifyi nn. iipujj . 3iv iiiciiais?* 

^;r ^ r*r*sr -y-^ auiaic 'i-cairs jgiu uiii in. Tim oiiishi 

<;j;U -HI*.' 

** H.^ raa '^^sric 'jr^ ^cr izes- air: TTpr T is ^srrn^ V^ 
.mm. 'vit 7-frT -iii^jxrjsTjSil.. ^n Z tcn't knew aor 
^■v*7 vKrUi?i X at }iccni^ Biic *=i:ii2n. xr axe. rrere was 



/;r^>*s;r!5r/ir*rv ar^ b«tscifil ^rssezn cscie abr hrm ssd 



l^f/ii^r^x pu^aars^ too beg to oscceal rithfT br vord 
w kyA, ^he rjevcr left me tatZ be set of £br hs 
tfar/*:k an oyer Ecrope, darin g which traves I removed* 
aiy] ^.ame rip here a long dstazxe from the old pbce^ 
where I had him all to mjxlf^ acd be was all to me." 

^ Tharilei, dear master, if I too may so call yoo. I 
$iM 2dwzy% feel that you are ; bat I did not know how 
very mnch yon had to do with him-** 

"Thotj mayest so name me, because thon art not 
wanting in veneration, and canst also be mastered" 

"Thanks forever. And I may keep this precious 
jfAjfCT? In your own writing, sir, it will be more than if 
yrni had said it, you know, though I should have re- 
mcml>crcd every word. And the story, too, is just as 
safe as if you had written it for me." 

And so it was. 

END OF VOL. L 



LAUREL-CROWNED LETTERS 

Best Letters of Lord Chesterfield. With an Intro 
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With an Introduction by Octavb Thanet. 

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MONK AND KNIGHT 

an 3^fet0tical Stutrg fn iFictton, 
By the Rev. Dr. F. W. Gunsaulus. 

Two Vols, xamo, 707 pages. Price, $2.00. 



This work is one that challenges attention for its ambitioas 
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as the author prefers to call it, "An Historical Study in Fiction." 
It is the result of long and careful study of the period of which it 
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several chapters, in which the author's descriptive powers are put 
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homes, resisting the persecutions of their religious foes, afford 
some thrilling and dramatic situations. 



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MARTHA COREY. 

A TALE OP THE SALEM WITCHCRAFT. 

By Constance Goddard du Bois. 

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Philadelphia, 

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The characters are well delineated ; the language is smooth and 
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is rendered very entertaining. The passions, love and hate, are 
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book. — Globe^ Chicago. 

An interesting tale of love and intrigue. . . . Miss Du Bois 
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The story of this book is pleasantly told ; and as a picture of 
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est and the brightest, of the most hateful and the most lovable 
traits, of human nature were openly manifested, is well worth 
reading. — Illustrated Christian Weekly, New York, 

A story of marked strength, both of imagination and narraticm* 
-^Home yournalj New York, 



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THE BEVERLEYS, 

A Story of Calcutta. 

BY MARY ABBOTT, 

Author of " Alexia," etc. 

z2mo, 264 pages. Price, $z.oo. 



The uncommonly favorable reception of Mrs. Abbott's brilliant 
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they may be found in the walks of daily life. Such are the pleas- 
ures of "The Beverleys.'* To read it is recreation, indeed. — 
Public Ledger, Philadelphia, 

The author writes throughout with good taste, and with a quick 
eye for the picturesque. — Herald, New York, 

It is a pretty story, charmingly written, with cleverly sketched 
pictures of various types of character . . . The book abounds in 
keen, incisive philosophy, wrapped up in characteristic remarks. — 
Times, Chicago. 

An absorbing story. It is brilliantly and vivaciously written. — 
Literary World, Boston, 

The author has until now been known, so far as we are aware, 
only by her former story, « Alexia." Unless signs fail which sel- 
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simply the forerunners of works in a like vein of which American 
-literature will have reason to be proud. — Standard, Chicago, 



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THE BRIDGE OF THE GODS. 

A ROMANCE OF INDIAN OREGON. 
By F. H. Balch. 

itmo, aSo pages paper, 50 cents ; doth $x.oo» 



This is a masterly and original delineation of Indian life. It 
is a strong story, charged with the elemental forces of the human 
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he relates of the great bridge which once spanned the Columbia, 
for which tliere is some substantial history, adds to the mystical 
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graphed from life. No writer has presented a finer character than 
the great cliief of the Willamettes, Multnomah ; Snoqualmie the 
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T«> those who have traversed the ground, and know something of 
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story is quick and varied, like the running water of the great river. 
— The Pacific, San Francisco, 

Its field is new for fiction ; it is obviously the work of one who 
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Chicago. 

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